Peony

Peonies need no words, one needs but to look at one of these opulent blooms and your eyes will turn into hearts. Being in the presence of peonies is quite possibly the height of human experience. It’s no wonder they are the most requested flower for wedding arrangements. (One of the names by which the peony is known in China is “king of the flowers”--an epithet which we believe couldn’t be more accurate.)

The Washington Post just published an article on peonies claiming they have never gone out of style. Read more here.

According to Greenaway, peonies symbolize bashfulness and shame, because is said that little impish nymphs hide in the peony’s luscious petals.  In Chinese tradition, peonies are symbols of female beauty, prosperity, and love.  

Peonies are also referenced in one of our favorite poems Ode on Melancholy by John Keats:

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.
— John Keats, Ode on Melancholy

We couldn't agree more that the best cure for melancholy is a bouquet of peonies.

xx,

Persephone

The Blossoms of Luoyang My lover is like the tree peony of Luoyang, I, unworthy, like the common willows of Wu Chang. Both places love the spring wind. When shall we hold each others hands again? Incessant the buzzing of insects beyond the orchard curtain The moom flings slanting shadows from the pepper tree across the courtyard. Pity the girl of the flowery house, who is not equal to the blossoms of Luoyang. — Ting Liunang (Tang Dynasty)

The Blossoms of Luoyang

My lover is like the tree peony of Luoyang,

I, unworthy, like the common willows of Wu Chang.

Both places love the spring wind.

When shall we hold each others hands again?

Incessant the buzzing of insects beyond the orchard curtain

The moom flings slanting shadows from the pepper tree across the courtyard.

Pity the girl of the flowery house, who is not equal to the blossoms of Luoyang.

— Ting Liunang (Tang Dynasty)