The Peony Thieves

Treasure comes in many forms

I love the memories attached to plants. The wild garlic and primroses were taken from Mum’s last garden before she moved. The honeysuckle was a cutting from our elderly neighbours who are now long gone. The bird of paradise was grown from a seed my father in law gave me when C was just a baby, and the clematis against the shed was bought in flower on our wedding anniversary. The memories are all part of the beauty

A neighbour moved away and her bungalow was to be flattened for a big house to be built with what the plans referred to as a ‘grand room’ for the newcomers. People around here don’t want to live in bungalows. They want houses with grand rooms

The lady had lived there a long time and had kept a beautiful garden, so when the workmen went home one evening after showing no respect for the plants, my neighbours and I squeezed through the hoarding and onto the site for some guerrilla gardening

There was an herbaceous peony plant and a huge gnarly old tree peony. We took what we could, crept home and set about dividing up the spoils. It was fairly brutal, but we managed to split the tree peony into half a dozen potential plants and share them between us. As you can see, tree peonies, contrary to what the books say, can be successfully relocated.  Mine have been in this spot now for nearly ten years and they apparently thrive on the lack of care they receive. For a few years I was unconvinced that they were ‘performing’ and I gave them an ultimatum: either you knock my socks off or I dig you up

But I guess that did the trick, because now there are many tissue paper flowers, all as big as your head and they look wonderful under the pale spring blossoms IMG_8869.JPGAnd as a bonus, each year as the peonies come into bloom we are all reminded of that charming garden as it used to be, now just laid to lawn. And we re-live our daft little foray

Author: poshbirdy

Art deco/ art nouveau maniac enjoying a deep and meaningful relationship with alcohol

12 thoughts on “The Peony Thieves”

  1. We have a tree peony which came with the house but thought we had lost it last year. However, it is back with its huge heads and harbours those beautiful iridescent green beetles that always make me want to wear them as a brooch 😉 Well done you for your guerrilla gardening – it doesn’t sound as if the plants would have survived or been appreciated. It’s funny that people in the U.K. don’t want bungalows but grand houses whereas, here in France, as you know, it tends to be the opposite.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Peonies are one of my favourite flowers which don’t, sadly, survive here in Sydney. But last year I visited the national peony garden in China (Luoyang, if you’re ever there) which was like falling into a vast box of tissues. Heaven. Long may your peonies prosper!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely post. So glad your peonies are thriving. I’m tempted to try one here. I think plants are invested with lots of memories. I call some of mine after the people who gave them to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the same. There’ll always be ‘Rose’s honeysuckle’. That original plant is also now gone because her house got re-developed too. I think there’s a strong case here for nicking other peoples’ plants!
      Thanks for joining me 🙂


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