There is a shrub that grows in my front garden. It is a perennial (which means it dies each winter only to regrow in the spring). In the early part of the spring, little red shoots appear often peeking through late snow. As a lover of warm weather, I see them as flags rising to signal the end of the long sleep, and a sign that jubilant colors and life are ready to take over the more muted winter landscape.
The shrub grows then diligently works on producing these buds which seem ready to break open, no longer able to contain their flowery contents. But those peonies are never in a hurry. They have endured a long winter rest, and they wait to burst open their blossoms. They lean toward the sun drink in the warmth each day. The blooms swell as layer after layer of anticipation is added until finally, finally, the blooms can no longer be contained and they explode into a seemingly impossibly big burst of summer laughter.
And from this....
That peony bush then proceeds to blossom with everything it has, putting on a fantastic show! The blossoms always come just before the official start of Summer and I love that they boldly declare that the outdoor fun may now begin...and you don't need to dress in layers anymore! :)
After their triumphant proclamation, the peony shrub quietly enjoys a green summer as it soaks up the rays that will enable it to proclaim the same wonderful welcome when winter will be put to bed once again next year.
So, I heart peonies and the beginning of SUMMER!!