Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Audrey’s Picture of Peonies


My cousin Audrey Berg cuts some of her peony blossoms and sets them in bud vases. Then she arranges vases across a kitchen window. Sunlight backlights the flowers, and through the window we see the garden, her garden, in which the glorious peonies grew. The result is more original than a Martha Stewart design and flat-out gorgeous. Audrey posts the photo on Facebook; it’s about the second post in a year I’ve seen from her. It looks fantastastic. Meanwhile our white peonies have blossomed in their heavy, round white-sun globular way, they are suns with their own corollas, but the weight of the blossoms is way too much for the branches, especially when multiple flowers crowd the edge of the branch. Their beauty weighs down the bush, the blossoms bend over to the ground. Some actually reach it. What to do? I don’t have some sort of wire shrub trellis for holding up downsloping blossoms. It’s time to cut some flowers. I cut them with the house scissors and bring them in, but our bud vases don’t work for many of these bouncy balls of white energized plant flesh. I try some of the more standardized vase sizes, including the “Grecian Urn” (the inscribed image of a sheath-clad nymph runs among the flowers) that came originally from Grandma Mildred, and eventually come up with enough settings for the flowers that sort of work. Here’s a photo, below.
It seems to me it’s all right to borrow other people’s ideas. “Cultural borrowing” is how civilization grows. You just have to borrow the good ones.