white peony from the backyard © kjm
When I was young, the only flowers I remember in our yard were peonies - batches of purple, pink and white varieties which had been there when my parents bought the house. I used to find them incredibly creepy just before they bloomed, when big, black ants would crawl around on the buds. The flowers that followed were lovely, though, and always came just before the end of the school year. When I was little, my mom would cut a bunch and have me bring them to my elementary school teacher.