I do not have a green thumb. I don't even have a kind-of green thumb. I really just can't grow flowers. Well, to be honest, I don't really try that hard, even though I truly love them. I wish I had a yard full of them, but I know they would probably die a sad death of dehydration, or nutrient starvation, or just simply bug-devouration.
Anyway, that said, you can probably guess that we don't have many flowers in our yard. None, really, except a couple straggly looking perrenials in the front that try their best to survive my neglectfulness each year, and a couple of hanging baskets given to me by my sweet hubby because he knows I love them...that typically last a good half of the summer. Almost.
And we also have peony bushes.
And this beautiful flower actually grows in our backyard! This is a real, honest-to-goodness picture of one of our own peonies!
Late May to early June is peak peony season in our yard. They truly are gorgeous. I enjoy them outside, and I love the vases full of them that we bring in the house. You see, the reason why we have such beautiful peonies is because you pretty much cannot kill them. They are perfect for me! Bushes full of vibrant color, and they take very little care.......for about 2 or 3 weeks. After that, they droop, and then they are done for the summer. No more blooms. Just green bushes. Which are nice, but not very colorful.
We have lived here in this house for 6 summers now, and the peonies came with the house. Every year I debate over whether or not I really want to keep our beloved flowers, or if we should pull them up and replant something that would give me more joy for the entire summer. That is, if I could keep something alive.
Well, I consider those choices every year, and I honestly had been leaning toward saying good-bye to our peonies. Until we traveled to China when we went to get Sarah. That is where I learned something special about peonies, and it made me see again how God delights in surprising us in big and small ways.
I learned that the peony is China's most loved flower--widely considered its national flower. It is known as the queen of flowers, and the flower of riches and honor. Not only is it special to the Chinese people, but it is most highly revered in Henan Province, where the city of Luoyang is famous for them and hosts a grand peony festival every spring.
It just so happens that our daughter is not only from China, but hails from Henan Province as well.
Needless to say, our sweet peony flowers are a little more precious to us these days, as year after year they grace our yard with beauty (and they are the only thing that does...). Just to think years ago when someone was planting those bushes, they would have had no idea that God was going to use them to bless someone in a special way. A little reminder that He always has a plan, and His plan was for a little girl from Henan to come and be our daughter.
I think we'll keep them.