Today is Saturday. Saturday is market day and a trip to one of the many local markets always promises a large bouquet of fresh flowers. I admire the colourful mixed bouquets, the happy gerbera daisies and the fragrant freesias but always walk away with a bunch of long stem roses. Cream coloured with the slightest hint of pink is my preference but any pretty shade of pink will do. If I'm feeling particularly daring and bold I may even walk away with a yellow or coral. But there's something about the creamy blossoms that are so elegant and timeless. They're prettiest in my opinion a few days later once they've opened. They're daintier and more whimsical then. And they always have the softest fragrance that one can only enjoy when they quite literally, stop and smell the roses.
There however is one bouquet that I love enough to sway me from my usual picking; a beautiful bouquet of peonies. Peonies are my absolute favourite. There's just something about peonies. I love their dark foliage and how perfectly round blooms open into mounds of delicate petals. Unfortunately, as so many beautiful things are, their season is fleeting. They're around long enough for us to bask in their sweet aroma for a short while and then they're gone.
This week however, I was in for a surprise. I entered the market place this morning and my eyes fell on three small pails of cream peonies. I purchased an armful, determined to enjoy what was clearly the remainder of stored cuttings. At first glance they appeared to be in sad condition. Blooms were brown and tainted with rot but that wouldn't matter. Tucked between these were flowers that could be cleaned and restored to the beautiful blooms they once were - even if just for a few short days. It's a rarity to find peonies in the middle of July and I wasn't about to pass them by.
In addition to the peonies, I purchased half a dozen pink roses from the clearance bucket. Just like the peonies, beneath the decay there was some beauty that could still be enjoyed - soon enough they would be as good as new.
The armful I left with was more flowers than I would need but who could resist? I ended up scattering them around my house for optimal enjoyment. A large bouquet here and a little bud vase with a single bloom there. I also wrapped two small bunches in brown paper and tied them with pink ribbon. They're a favourite of my sister and mother-in-law as well and they will surely brighten their kitchens and bring them just as much joy as they've brought me.