Sunday, June 24, 2007


There's a flower market in Amsterdam where I bought two peonie plants in 1999. I was there as part of the Next 5 MinutesFestival, which, as their web site says, "puts together media, art and politics". The market sold me the "plants", but it was just two bunches of what looked like a tangle of dead roots each with a central knot. The roots were not packaged, just wrapped in a brown paper. It was before 9/11 but even so, the U.S. Customs was on guard. When I reached the US, they had opened my luggage and found the roots and I was taken into a side room to be questioned. They thought they were some sort of drug. I was held for quite a bit until a woman inspector who had once had some peonies in her yard explained to the others that it was ok. They let me through. I planted them on the wall near my house in Willow. Each year the two plants, which originated from those dried up scraggly roots, get more blossoms and bigger flowers.Of course I have to put lots of compost on them and ashes from the woodstove. Each year the house is filled with pink flowers. They look a little like the ones we used to make as kids-- with Kleenex and hairpins.I know the first part of summer is over when the floor of my house is paved with peonie petals.One of the wonders of web searches is that someone (perhaps from Indonesia, Mexico, Sweden??) will search the word "Peonies" some day and come across this site.
Peonie lovers of the world, unite!!

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