Friday, June 11, 2010


I'm writing to you from my peony-colored office. I've never been able to describe the color of the 4 walls that surround me, but now that peonies are blooming, i see their color is an exact match. You might wonder why i didn't realize this before now?

The one-word answer is "mulch." Over the years, soil built up around the peonies as a result of mulching every year. Peonies are very particular. Their "eyes" need to be 2 inches below the ground. Any more or any less, and they won't bloom. My neighbor who never mulches has consistently beautiful blooms on his 30-year-old peonies.

Two years ago i moved my peonies out from under a redbud tree that i had started from seed. Although the peonies originally stood in a sunny location, after a few years, they were shaded by the spreading redbud.

Now peonies line my garden path. They are happily blooming, and i am happy that they are happy.

Stress is the incompleteness of not having what you want--like not having blooming peonies.

The end of stress is not wanting things to be different than they are.

The peonies bloom, i'm happy. Then it rains, and the heavy blossoms fall down. What shall i choose? The stress of wanting things to be different? Or the release of accepting things just as they are?

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