And it was glorious. Great blowsy white flowers as ruffled and layered and complicated as a cabbage made of Chantilly lace, large enough to fill your cupped hands, with deep magenta traces hidden far down in the depths. One cannot help but describe them in romantic terms--they're coy, sensual blooms, working the gardener up to an absolute frenzy of anticipation waiting, and finally, at last, they unfurl over the course of a few days, petals spread to the world, a sweet scent slipping out and drifting on the air, and you find yourself kinda wanting a cigarette.
The next day it poured rain and smacked those suckers flat.
So I went out today and rescued the poor peonies from where they were kissing the pavement, chopped them off, and took them inside and popped them in a vase. The first flowers I've ever cut from my own garden. I didn't plant them, but it's still pretty damn cool anyway.