Thursday, June 9, 2016
In April I picked pink peonies. The magenta and white peonies were not even budded. A friend who is a Garden Club member did not believe that the peonies were actually blooming and condescendingly told me I was confusing them with other spring flowers. I presented a bouquet of pink peonies to her. Perhaps she believed that having the mantle of "Master Gardener" equipped her to make judgments before seeing evidence.
I love the heavenly fragrance of peonies perfuming the house. Fortunately, a friend from Bloomingburg gave several bouquets to me after my peonies quit blooming. In the past I would have peonies to use for bouquets to decorate for Gerald's birthday party in June, but all of my magenta and white peonies were spent this year before Memorial Day.
I can recall helping my mother and grandmother prepare flowers to take to cemeteries for Memorial Day; Granny called Memorial Day "Decoration Day". We would cover coffee cans with aluminum foil; I became the official bow-maker. Peonies and irises (which Granny called "flags") were the main flowers in those arrangements.
Granny called them "PINE-EES"; another older woman I knew pronounced it as
"PEE-OH-NEES". I think those are just regional pronunciations as they also call bell peppers "MANGOS" and cantaloupes "MUSH MELONS" rather than musk melon.
Although the date has changed and we now observe Memorial Day on the last Monday of the month, when I was a girl, it was marked on May 30, no matter the day of the week. Memorial Day meant that school was over for the year but now kids are still in school in June. We always school the day after Labor Day, but now they start in August.