Peonies are one of my favorite flowers. I love their colors and fragrances. I only get to enjoy them for a few weeks each spring, but I have noticed them popping up in supermarkets for an extended time. Often peonies do not like rain and they get mashed down and decay more quickly when rained on. A gardener friend says that every year there is a ‘peony’ rain to spoil their display.
I discovered Tree Peonies when visiting a local walled garden. There were huge bushes of large flowers that seemed less bothered by the rain. Tree Peonies come from China, where they are a popular flower. The ones in this walled garden are supposed to be descendants of the original Tree Peonies that were planted in this garden in the early 1900’s. The one in my photo looks bashful to me. It seems to be holding its hands in front of its face as it has its photo taken. The one below was freshly opened. As you can see the petals are similar to regular peonies, but the centers are more full. In order to get more of the petals in focus, the background was too blotchy. I smoothed out the color in PS and then added a stucco texture for interest.