Seven Years and Two Transplants Later . . . .

The duchess with her friend Queen Victoria.

The duchess with her cousin, Queen Victoria.

Some of my friends believe I have a low-level sanity problem. They are probably right.   Truth to tell, it’s probably worse than they imagine.

Seven years ago, I was given five Duchesse de Nemours peonies as a Christmas gift. I  kept them in pots on a patio. They greened up, but didn’t bloom.

The second year, I moved them all to semi-shaded spot in the back garden. But one died of pot to garden transplanting.  The third year all four sprouted. But as mine is not a peony friendly climate; two died off of heat prostration and the other two greened but never flowered.

The fourth year, the two came up again. But again they did not flower. The fifth year only one came up. I tented it, to keep it from the extreme heat, I watered religiously, and though it survived got a bit bushy, it didn’t bloom.

The sixth year, I discovered peonies did not like afternoon sun (thank you, P Allen Smith!), and as I was moving anyway, I dug up my last precious plant and took it with me.

(Anyone who tells you bloom where you’re planted is a complete moron. You bloom where conditions are right or you never do. So if conditions are not right, you must transplant yourself! Duh.)

This time I placed it in the morning sun, with perfect peony conditions. It survived the very late season transplanting, doubled in size, but eventually died back without flowering.

And now it is year seven. I have just discovered my duchess sprouting up again. And I am hopeful for a blossom this year, perhaps in May or June.

I know not many people would wait seven years (or more) for a single blossom. But that’s who I am. I don’t give up on things I love. Not ever. I have infinite faith, infinite patience, infinite endurance.

I suppose it does sound odd, especially coming from me. But if you’d ever seen the Duchesse or even caught a whiff of her scent in passing, you’d understand. Some things are worth all the bother . . . now that sounds like me!


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