Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Fleurish: A Lush of Peonies

pencil & watercolour illustration on cotton paper, 6.5' x 7.25" [16.5 x 18.5 cm]

Flowers always bring out the gratitude in me.  And right now, it's peony season, so I'm especially grateful.

Symbolic of prosperity and derring-do, peonies were also said to conceal mischievous nymphs within their petals, earning the meaning of Shame or Bashfulness in the Language of Flowers. I suspect they are the lushes of the flower world, and I mean that most affectionately, as they are among my favourites.  Each one's somewhat rapid descent from a tiny, tightly wound bud to a frothy, tulle-like handful of sweet, ruffled petals is something to behold.  My beautiful mum bought me a bunch a few days ago, and when we were chilling out in the cold room at the flower market, tossing up how much faith to place in the buds opening, we met them halfway and chose ones that had just started flashing their frills.  By the time I was home, they'd undone the top few buttons of their hot pink blouses.  By the time they were trimmed and in the vase, they'd started dancing le CanCan.  They make me smile whenever I look at them.  They may not be here for a long time*, but they are here for a good time.  And thank heavens for that...

Happy Friday Fleurish to you!

{I found this tip for longevity here, along with some beautiful peonies and descriptions: a daily trim, plus 1/2 teaspoons sugar and a sprinkle of Vitamin C powder per litre of vase water.  Might want to give it a whirl.}

27 comments:

  1. There's a lot of nice writing going on there, Shell. Brava. And brava to your lovely watercolor, too.

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  2. Ditto Margaret. That's a sassy, saucy analogy and a fancy, flouncy fleur.

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  3. Oh sooo lovely, I'm in love with this saucy, sassy flower (as Petrea called her) :-)
    I want to print the whole page and keep it in my journal (under your name, of course). Great post.

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  4. Some of my favorite flowers too but they never last very long so thank you for all the information and the tip. Can't wait for next year to try it !!!
    Have a nice weekend.

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  5. Aww, Margaret, Petrea ~ coming from you two writers, that's 'specially special! Thank you...

    Gypsy ~ that's a great description of Petrea's, isn't it! I'd be honoured to be in your journal ~ enjoy. :)

    Marylène ~ I told my mum and she's heard that tip as a general cut flower tip as well, so I'd better procure some Vitamin C powder ~ won't hurt me, either! Enjoy your weekend, too.

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  6. Oh, beautiful peonies, my favourite flower, and a whole long winter (brightened now by the mental image you evoke of le can-can) till I see them again. I like to think there's a campari bottle vase just out of sight beneath your drawing.

    And I'll add my echo to the praise of your charming and witty writing style.

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  7. Mise, I was definitely thinking of you when I did this one ~ highly reminiscent of the Campari of which you're so fond. Have a gorgeous weekend!

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  8. Must most heartily agree with the general consensus, Shell—that you've outdone yourself with both brush AND pen here! Your vivid description conjures up my favorite flower even without your absolutely gorgeous illustration!

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  9. I'll bet you and your mom are a treat together.

    I thought I must head out and find me some peonies, then remembered -- y'all are heading into summer, we're closing in on winter.

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  10. Your watercolour is a colorful representation of a Turkey. ShSh, thanks for remembering our Holiday down here!

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  11. How deceptively sweet and demure demoiselle peony looks. It is true what they say: you can't judge a flower by its petal.

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  12. Alexa ~ thank you! After I brought these home, I ordered a nightie I'd seen with ruffled tulle around the bottom. I have a feeling I was under the peony's influence at the time. ;)

    Hiker ~ we have a ball together! Add my sister into the mix and we become a gaggle of giggling Gerties.

    Cafe ~ I knew you'd appreciate my subtle homage to Thanksgiving... hope you managed a sleep-in.

    Cali ~ LOL! They are so alluring, they even have their own 'guard petals'. Seriously ~ that's what the outer petals are called. One can understand why.

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  13. I love the way you describe the peonies, just beautiful! Your illustration and description makes me wish I could go out and pick some!

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  14. Thanks, Amy ~ sorry you have to wait six months to enjoy them yourself!

    Bhavesh ~ thank you ~ say, your wife's work is really lovely ~ I'm glad you encouraged her to blog.

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  15. Nice Writings ! I loved the words !! Thanks for sharing..Unseen Rajasthan

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  16. Lovely drawing -- the colors are just so perfect. But now I'll never think of pink peonies without imagining them doing the Can Can. What a wonderful image!

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  17. I am new to your site. Your drawings are darling!
    Lori Lynn

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  18. Thanks, Unseen!

    Katie ~ wheeeeeeeeee!!!!!! :)

    Hi, Lori Lynn ~ it's lovely to meet you. Thanks so much for dropping in and saying Hello!

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  19. Oh my dear, I'm late and I do so apologize but it's worth the wait. And have i got some Paris peonies up my sleeve pour toi! You knew it didn't you???
    And moi? Tomorrow macrons and Ladurée. Come by and have a taste.
    V

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  20. LOL, Virginia ~ thank you, thank you ~ gorgeous! ~ and I'll be coming over for Ladurée macarons, that's for sure!

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  21. Wonderful! Delightful! Provocative!

    I agree with everyone about the writing. You really bring the peony to life with your allusions!

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  22. Shanna ~ thank you!! At first, I thought you were describing yourself. :)

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  23. I am so jealous! Peonies are my absolute favourites. Here our peony season is june, the same month as my husband's birthday, so the smell always reminds me of preparing for his birthday celebrations. such heavenly flowers!

    oh, and as for the kittens and the upholstered headboard--that hadn't even occurred to me until you mentioned it shell! but considering how they love to go at the couch, maybe an upholstered headboard isn't such a grand idea after all...?

    or maybe i'll have it covered in leather. we have a leather chair and they ignore that, i think because they can't get their claws in it...

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  24. Anne ~ I'm lucky too, as my birthday's in peony season here in our climate, so they remind me of the same things as you!!

    Your dear kitties were the first thought I had on reading your post, given that nearly every upholstered item in our home is partially shredded. I like to think it adds character. :)

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  25. Your literary imagery is as good as the actual, my dear. My roses are undoing their top buttons this morning in our killer heat.

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  26. MmeB ~ I know we can't change the weather but holy moly, I'm over the heat, too, and we haven't scratched the scratch of your temps. I feel for you.

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Merci, grazie, thank you for joining our conversation lounge. Your smile lights up the room. Even more beautifully than our crystal chandelier. x