I love peonies–just love them. I’ve probably mentioned that before.
People are always telling me, “I like peonies, I just don’t like all the ants.” Which I think is interesting. . . I’ve honestly never had a problem with ants. I mean, I’m sure they’re there–but it doesn’t affect my enjoyment of those beautiful, big, bright exuberant blooms.
And I cut many vases-full of peonies every year–usually I have to squash a couple of ants while I’m putting the buds in the vase, but that’s usually where it ends. So I’m not sure if my peonies are different, or my ants are less able than other ants to hang onto the plants as they’re being carted inside, or if my ant tolerance is just higher than most.
I do try to cut the blooms when they’re just beginning to open (or aren’t opened at all yet–I think peony buds are also gorgeous), so maybe that makes a difference. But I think their subtle, sweet smell is also wonderful and I love having a bouquet on my desk at work and another big one in my living room at home.
I have about 5 or 6 different kinds of peonies (I have no idea what most of them are because I got divisions from my aunt, who had had them for years), so I have a fairly long-ish season of bloom. My first ones are about done and I still have at least three kinds that haven’t opened their buds yet.
I’m hoping for at least a few more bouquets before this peony season is done. And I’ll be happy to squish a few ants for the privilege.