Peonies are wihtout a doubt my favourite flower and when they are blooming in my garden it's the most beautiful place in the world to me. They usually bloom here around my birthday at the end of May, but this year it was close to July before they put on their big show. This dark and chilly spring and summer have been ABYSMAL for the garden. Many of my shrubs just aren't going to bloom this year and everything just looks sun-starved out there, but the peonies were really exceptional this year with more and bigger blooms than ever. I had bouquets in the house for a couple of weeks and still had lots of blooms out in the garden. A peony flower or two or three makes a beautful bouquet all by itself, but every single year at peony time I think to myself that my garden needs roses.