I'm very fond of Peonies; they are the Flamenco Dancers of the floral world.
Lady Magnon planted this one about 3 years ago, and this is its first flowering. Very beautiful.
Peonies always remind me of when English artist Ivon Hitchens invited me to tea at his rather ramshackle home near Petworth, Sussex, in around 1970.
My two main memories of the afternoon were firstly the fact that his house was overflowing with paintings; one could hardly get from room to room. And secondly, his lovely wife, Mary, gave me a Peony when I left, which sadly fell to bits before I reached home.
The two flowers, above, lasted for just two days.