I love peonies. I even love to say the word “peony”. I love when they start to leaf out in the spring and when I am rewarded with a big, beautiful bloom it signifies that summer is officially here! I have got about 15 peony plants of various ages, colors and varieties. I inherited four plants when we bought our house and then added a few select varieties from Cady’s Falls Nursery, I’ve been “babysitting” a couple for a dear friend who moved them from her grandmother’s garden in Connecticut, and I was gifted several peony roots for my 30th birthday that are growing in really nicely this year. Thanks to this unusually warm weather we’ve been having in Vermont I think this is the earliest I’ve seen my plants blooming. Here are a couple of shots I took this morning of a peony that grown beneath my kitchen window…in quite a bit of shade actually! I can’t think of anything more perfect than a peony in bloom.