Peonies and Ants

For as long as I can remember, my family has grown pink peonies.  My great grandmother had a substantial stand of them at her old home place and it has been a tradition that a few toes go with family members as we move about so we can propagate the blooms and share something in common no matter where we are.  My grandparents had them planted at their place and my parents have them also.

To me, peonies are about as lovely a flower as they make…secondly only to daffodil I expect.  Both flowers have the most wonderful fragrances of anything in the world too.  I could honest-to-goodness start every day for the rest of my life smelling daffodils and peonies and be a happy man.

Ants on my peony buds

We planted our peonies a few years ago when we bought our home in WV.  We waited and waited and nothing really showed the first year or two.  In fact, I sort of forgot that they were in the ground until last year when familiar shoots started up through the ground.  I do not think a single bloom grew but I knew the leaves and was hopeful.

This year, the flowers came on strong and we have buds waiting to open!  I took a few pictures of the ants that always go with peony blooms which I thought was pretty cool.  I always heard that without the ants, peonies would not bloom.  Apparently that is an old wives’ tale.  Ants just like the sweet nectar the blooms produce.  The blooms will be just fine without the ants though.

Ants on my peony buds

So, ants and aphids are welcome…peonies now grow in my yard as they have in my family for at least 4 generations!

3 thoughts on “Peonies and Ants

  1. I love, love, love peonies! Listen to you, waxing poetic about your favorite flowers! I’m over here saying hi from East Virginia!

  2. Thanks for the memories! I had forgotten all about ants and peonies until this post. My parents used to have a row of white peonies at the old house that used to be the automatic home run fence when we played wiffle ball. There were always ants on those bushes.

    I should plant some here where I live but I’m scared about what people might think when she tells others about them. You see, being from a foreign country means she has an accent and when she says peonies, it sounds more like penis. I laugh every time she says that.

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