Pink or Magenta Flowers: Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge

Hardy mums, chrysanthemum
For Cee’s photo challenge of pink or magenta flowers, here are some of mine. I saw these pink mums this fall and it was the first time I had seen them in this shade of pink.

Pale pink hyacinths in a vase
A similar thing happened recently with these hyacinths. I had never seen them in this pale pink before and I didn’t know they grew in a long-stemmed variety.

Hydrangeas in fall
A third recent discovery of mine is that the hydrangea bush (that’s been outside all the years I’ve been living here) turns pink in the fall. I had never noticed.

Japanese cherry blossom pink
But I always notice the cherry blossoms in spring.

pink tulips bouquet
Sometimes you need to get a flower fix at the grocery store.

Lilly and black eyed Susan's
And sometimes they are growing right outside your door.

pink bleeding hearts flowers
Sometimes they are bleeding hearts

Rose wet with rain next to stem of a cut rose
Or broken hearts.

And sometimes…
pale pink peony

…sometimes they are peonies.
pink peony opening side view

Peonies Are Different This Year

Peonies and rosesLast year I was in love with the bunch of peonies I got at the farm, but this year was different. The first half of the month, when the peonies came out, I was visiting my gramma to say goodbye. And then back again several days later, after she passed away, for the funeral.

When we buried my gramma, her casket was adorned with peonies and roses, two of her favorite flowers. I didn’t realize that she loved peonies–I knew she was always proud of her roses. She grew so many different kinds of flowers in her gardens, and I never knew that peonies were second in her heart to her roses. I also learned that I inherited my love of brownies from her. We always enjoyed some sweets when we visited her, but I never knew that brownies were her favorite, too.

This year, all the peonies are for my gramma.

Nice Car: Green 1975ish MG B

I can’t quite put this in the “Dream Car” category as theĀ Ford Galaxie 500 I saw recently, but this green MG convertible still looks like a lot of fun.

Green MG B "rubber bumper"
Green MG B “rubber bumper”

Again, I don’t know much about cars, but after some, um, diligent research on Wikipedia, it seems like this may have been made around 1975. According to this image on Wiki and the scanning of image search results I did, this model was known as a “rubber bumper.” According to classicandperformancecar.com

North American regulations requested a raised ride height and polyurethane-covered bumpers required to withstand 5mph impacts without sustaining damage. Although condemned at the time by fans, the federalised MGB was actually a successful styling job compared with its Italian rivals. Later B-series engines in North America were reduced to a single Zenith Stromberg carb, emission equipment and a catalyst. Now these black bumper cars offer the best regular use practicality and value of all the MGBs.

I saw this car on one of my trips to the farm. It was fun to see a sporty little car like this sticking out among the tractors.

(I can see the peonies in the background of the photo. Oh peonies, I miss you already!)

Strawberry Picking at the Farm

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to go strawberry picking at a nearby farm. The weather was beautiful, the kids were in a good mood (for the most part), and things were just about perfect.

two pints of strawberries
Picked our own strawberries

My dad always loved strawberry picking, and my siblings and I spent many our Saturday mornings in June wandering through the strawberry patch of a local farm. If we were grumpy about having to leave our precious Saturday morning cartoons behind, we would forget it by the time we rode back home, returning with stained clothes, hands, and faces.

red and green strawberries growing
Some for today, some for tomorrow

My kids seemed to have fun. I hope they grow up to enjoy stuff like this and to appreciate what it means to get such fresh food. I suppose I took it for granted at the time but now can see how special it was to do that as a kid. It’s still special to do now.

a pint of strawberries in the sunshine
They were small but sweet

In the background are some apple trees. Picking apples was another tradition in our household growing up, and I still love to do that, too.

strawberry plants and apple trees
Strawberries in front, apples in the back

In just a few months, we’ll be eating fresh apples. I’ll come back for these guys when the time is right.

tiny apples growing
See you in September, baby apples!

Here are some of the farm’s peony bushes. I am still enjoying my bouquet that I brought home.

peony bushes
Peonies line the fences at the entrance to the farm.

I love the light pink and the white flowers. The dark pink is beautiful also, but I think the white is my current favorite. Probably because we didn’t have white ones at my parents’ house. They had several bushes of dark pink, with maybe one or two light pink plants.

white peonies
The mysterious white peony

So, I guess the white seems the most rare to me, followed by the light and dark pink. But no need to split hairs, I love them all!

Peonies Beautiful, Peonies Sweet

June is for peonies.

So happy to have some fresh-cut peonies.
So happy to have some fresh-cut peonies

I was lucky to go strawberry picking yesterday, and even luckier to find these gorgeous peonies for sale at the farm store.

white peony blossom with pink peonies
I got the last white stem for sale yesterday

I love the aroma of peonies. The fragrance is thick and luxurious. Just like the flowers’ petals. I want to shrink myself, curl up, and take a nap in them.

pink peony
Doesn’t that look comfortable?

I love how the blossoms go from a green, perfect sphere to their majestic, opened state.

pink peony opening
Peek-a-boo!

On the way, there is a point where they resemble another favorite flower, ranunculus, the way that there is almost a flat line across the top. What I like about ranunculus is that they look like someone took a rose and cut it halfway down.

pink peony opening
Reminds me a bit of ranunculus

Just the other day, I was reminiscing about the peonies that my parents grew at my childhood home after seeing a post about Tree Peonies on the blog My Food and Flowers. I remember that I loved bringing a bouquet of them inside each June, except that it brought lots of ants in, too. Try as you might to shake them all out before bringing them in, you could never get them all.

pink peony and blue sky
An early June day and an old friend

I was so happy to find them yesterday at the farm and bring with me. They are making my home smell beautiful. It is intoxicating. My head is spinning, my words are slurring. I’m drunk on pure beauty.

pink peony