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Thursday, June 14, 2012


 Sarah Bernhardt
her first year in the garden

(for my Southern peeps who have no idea what that "strange thing" you are seeing in the middle of June on the left side of the photograph's an open window!  it's 70 degrees!)


  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Lovely images and an even more gorgeous flower - peonies are my absolute favourite!
    Paula x
    p.s. Lucky you to be warm with windows open - we don't know whether to wear wellies of sandals here in England from one minute to the next - most likely wellies though!

  2. I have the Sarsh Bernhardt peony and LOVE it!The scent of peonies is always so lovely!
    Blessings, Lorraine

  3. Your peonies are the perfect shade of pale pink!
    I don't think we can grow peonies here in sunny and dry California, but I did pick up a few bunches at Trader Joe's. Of course, they aren't are lovely as yours, but they will have to do.
    Enjoy the wonderful weather.


  4. What a Beautiful shade of pink! So delicate and beautiful! Gorgeous photos, Joan.


  5. Open window and blooming peonies...Texans back home can't remember the last time they've seen either of the two! Especially peonies...
    I'm a Texan transplanted to Maine (like in the last 2 weeks) and am finding life in the Northeast quite refreshing. Poor parents are burning it up in South Texas.
    Love reading your me hope that one day my chateau set amongst rolling greens will one day come.

  6. Peonies are one the best things ever. Mine are all gone. I kept a vase of them in my fridge for over a week. Pulled them out each day went I got home and enjoyed them until bedtime.

    I'm really enjoying this coolish weather.

  7. Oh my gosh, isn't it nice to see the sun and feel it's earth on your face after another soggy wet spell? ALl the windows are up in our house, the screen doors are open... Let summer begin!!!!

    Gorgeous peonies!!! Is Sarah Berhardt one of the old varieties. They are Sally's and my favorite! Ours are down to their last few buds. On the up side, the Gardenia topiaries are full of bud!


  8. Gorgeous! I love peonies SO much! Do you get ants on yours (after they bloom)? Is there a way to get rid of them so you can bring them in the house? Any way you know of to make them last longer in the vase? Mine were wilted within 2 days :(

  9. This is one of the most gorgeous flowers on earth! They're not in my garden, but I purchased some white blooms a couple of weeks ago and they were stunning!

  10. Joan,
    Peonies are truly one of nature's most incredible flowers. We have to buy ours at the market since we do not get cold enough to grow them. I love this pale pink color, so lovely.

  11. Gorgeous Peony, I wished they bloomed longer. Down here in Virginia, they bloomed a month ago...and we too have our windows open, enjoying it as long as we can! And love the vase!!! donna :)

  12. Ha ha, very funny. Open window indeed!
    But I love the peony. :)

  13. man....this looks so it!

  14. AHHHH, I can almost feel the breeze ans smell the PEONIES!!!! They are one of my favorites: along with gardenia and hydrangeas! OMG!!! XO, Pinky

  15. Just discovered your blog, and love reading about your house journeys. Especially loved the story of the vase and your vision for its new home. Hopefully it will hold many, many peonies in its lifetime. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Jeez, jealous peonies or open windows in The Woodlands!! Love Texas in the winter though!

  17. Peonies are my all time favorite...yours are just gorgeous!

  18. much older sister SusanJune 14, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Reallllly?????????????????? An open window in June???????????????????? I don't believe it!!!!!!!!

    Peonies are my favorite flower! They are on Mother's china too.

  19. I tried to grow peonies in South Carolina. Finally, after 3 years, I had one bloom. Moved shortly after, so I don't know if it bloomed again. Your blooms are gorgeous!

  20. I love to smell them too. They are lovely.

  21. Peonies are one of my favorite flowers. Wish I could grow them in FL.

  22. Hi, Joan -
    I love your peonies---they look like crepe paper! Gorgeous!! I have the single and semi double ones. Mine did not bloom too well this year....I don't know why?? They were still lovely....just a bit sparse. Have a wonderful weekend ahead.

  23. oh how I love peonies! Can't wait until mine bloom :) but right now my 2nd favourite is in bloom - irises!!


  24. I need to buy a peony! They are so beautiful and smell so pretty don't they? It was 72 here today with sunshine and clear blue skies. Perfect weather but I found the wind a bit chilly. Enjoy the sunshine. Pamela

  25. hi Joan - love the peonies. they are one of my favourite flowers. I blogged about colourful roses today. must be the day for some prettiness.
    Why is it weird to have your window open? Do you normally have airconditioning?
    cheers Fiona

  26. Joan,
    I love SB peonies and these look beautiful! Catching up on my "reading" and I LOVED your Ella Day post-too cute!!

  27. How beautiful!!! I have never grown peonies, but the pink is gorgeous!!!
    I am also very jealous of the cooler temperature. I live in south Alabama and it is already scorching here!:-)

  28. Absolutely gorgeous - thanks for sharing!

    p.s. I used to live in Alberta, Canada where peonies were non existent & the temperature was cool this time of year. However, now being in Southern Ontario, we are enjoying warm weather and my flowers love it (note to self: plant peonies).

  29. Ok first with the peonies and then the window. Now you're just bragging! ;) gorgeous gorgeous! (and yes I would live to open my window but after a week straight of rain I think the Mosquitos might carry me away!)

  30. Our peony plants were plentiful this year in Ontario and have just finished up. A definite favorite. It's about 80 here but, so we too are relishing in the fresh air open windows. Lovely photos!

  31. Let the air blow through and the sun shine in.......... it's summer. I love it when the curtains blow in the breeze.
    What a lovely place to sit and enjoy the vista with soft pink peonies grabbing the spotlight.

  32. LOVE gorgeous peonies. Almost as much as I love open windows in the middle of June (smile).


  33. I have just read about your Ella, and I have to say - she seems so lovely:)
    I sat here with a big smile on my face while reading and looking at the
    pictures of her. She has such nice and warm eyes, goes right to ones heart. Me and my family have one dog and three cats, and we love them all. They are all very different personalities, but all 3 cats love
    our dog. She is 12 years old, and she is a mix like Ella. The seller told us she was a mix of dachs and
    spaniel, but she looks just like a border terrier. She is sweet and kind, but likes to "speak out", espescially when she observes dears and other wildlife (we live on an small farm in Norway).
    So here comes a big hug from Norway to lovely Ella, wishing you all a wonderful summer :)

  34. love peonies! my favorite flower, hands down! hope you are well. happy bday to ella!

    ashley over @

  35. beautiful flowers....and we have actually had quite a nice spring and summer so far (in the south) windows have been open and the attic fan whirring...smiles

  36. Hi Joan!

    Not only do I love your peonies....but that open window. My window's are open and the sounds of lawn mowers, birds and laughing children are wafting in. We just put our screens on this year after 6 years of using A/C. We feel kind of silly that we haven't been doing this for years. And, gotta love fresh air!

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  37. Peony envy! We can't grow them down here in Georgia. My mom has them in Tennessee, and they smell heavenly! We were actually able to open the doors and windows this morning as it was only 67 degrees at 7:00. We've had a most mild spring and early summer. I'm loving it!

  38. Peonies are such a pretty flower. They just make me happy! So nice to stop by and visit you again with all this crazy moving business! Your home soothes me! We moved from Charleston, SC to Minnesota and oh my... it was in the 60's the other day and I thought I was going to freeze! I walked the dog last night with a sweatshirt on and got tickled when I realized it was June! I can't think of the last time I wore a sweatshirt in June! I am hoping I adapt quickly this winter! Brrrrr!

  39. Beautiful Joan... such a pretty bunch of peonies... Happy weekend... xv

  40. I'm swooning over your gorgeous peonies and that open window. I got a giggle about Southerners not recognizing an open window. I do remember them though. Growing up in Georgia, with no a/c, we had open windows and tried to keep cool by fanning with those paper fans which had a picture of Jesus on one side and the name of the funeral home on the other. Ah, the good old days. LOL

  41. It's just beautiful !!

  42. LOVE Sarah Bernhardt peonies - they're my favourIite peony. I planted 5 in my garden but they're not flowering very well and one came up a bright cerise pink which is definitely NOT a Sarah Bernhardt!!! I wish garden centres would label their plants properly!


  43. lovely joan. and even in the deep south, as we are, it's only around the mid-80's for us so we are loving it right now. donna

  44. Oh my goodness perfection in a vase! We can't grow peonies here in CA. I am so jealous. I remember growing up in the midwest and the prospered along every fence row. They were so prolific we didn't even appreciate them!

  45. Your peonies look so gorgeous! I've been buying mine at Trader Joe's since I'm still on the west coast, but next year I'll be bringing them in from my garden in CT....and I can hardly wait.

  46. your peonies are a beauty! i just purchased a small bunch of them at a local trader joe's, they smell delicious.

  47. Hee, hee, hee -- open window. There is nothing like fresh air!

    BEAUTIFUL peonies and fantastic photography Joan. -Brenda-

  48. GREAT POST:) I really like your blog and Im following, I hope you follow me also:)

    Have a great weekend.

    LOVE Maria at


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