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It's been a 'bumper' year for the peonies...
This one the petals laced with 'raspberry sirup'...View On Black

I love seeing where they come from, what they look like at their peak!
Those huge heads, so layered, all coming out of this one bud, this bud unfurling and displaying all this beauty... it NEVER ceases to amaze me.
The evolution, the unfurling, the GRAND opening...

The peony is the only genus in the flowering plant family Paeoniaceae. They are native to Asia, Southern Europe and western North America but grow very well here too, Peonies are actually very easy to grow; once established they can tolerate drought and suffer from very few diseases.
Colours range from pure white through baby pinks and palest peaches to clear deep pink and darkest rich maroon. There is also a pale yellow but it is rare.
Peonies are only available between late May and early July, so get them while you can!
They are very thirsty flowers, so make sure you top up the vase or bowl.

The Greeks believed they could cure over 20 ailments and were found in every monastery garden.
Peonies have been cultivated for over 2,000 years, more for their medicinal qualities than for ornament.
An interesting extra bit of info given by :

Τhe name of Peony is after a Paion (Peon) who was a student of the Gods' Doctor Asklipios. Paion had cured a wound Hercules had caused to Pluto.
Asklipios got very angry with his student and killed him.
Pluto then metamorphosed Paion into a flower.
This flower is supposed to relief many illnesses and fever.
The Japanese protect the earliest peony blooms from the snow by protecting them with individual small thatched shelters. Some geishas used to wear special peony colours.
The Chinese name for peony is "sho yu" which means "most beautiful" and they idolised this flower.
The common thread is that the flower always denotes luxury and indulgence.
Giving my flowers SOUL? My Soul Flowers on youtube and Studio Flowers 2011
Why not take a few minutes, click on the links, sit back and relax, enjoy the beauty, you'll feel replenished?
Went for again for a dramatic lighting, to make them 'different' from other flower images, as usual, comp in camera...
My favourite... Lol, thanx for your time and comments, M, (*_*)

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