If you are a peony.
I only grow one: 'Blaze'. Even its name is simple --- one saturated syllable.
|Jim took this photo. I can't get one of the intense hue of this peony|
I do not care for the big blowsy floppy peonies that are frilly and too full. I like peonies that are single, that open wide and cup-like, and stand up proudly.
Techinically 'Blaze' is a double or Japanese peony, with several overlapping petals. It is not strictly the single style with its simple rows of petals and guard petals. But it is not the bomb ball that flops and is a mess. It opens cupped, and then flat, like the true singles, to show off the golden treasure inside.
Mine is virtually impossible to photograph. The scarlet petals have some kind of sheen to them that reflects even the lowest light.
|Jim's photo, late in the day|
I love the color, and I like the simple blooms with their yellow centers.
Missouri Botanical Garden had a sumptuous row of peonies in bloom when we were there in mid May. They lined a walk in the Japanese garden in lovely shades of pink and white. Like their wild iris garden, MoBot had jumbled all the peonies together in a mass of colors and forms.
In all the impressionistic swirl of their peony border, it was the singles that stood out for me. They are just so simple and so pretty.
My red peony 'Blaze' lives up to its name: it blooms in a fiery show for only a week in late May. It pairs with 'May Night' salvia, and the deep purple and blazing red are a great combination that gives my emerging spring garden a pop even from afar.
Give me a single peony any day. Or a double, really. Pastel and demure, or fiery and bold, it is the color and the elegance of the flower that gets attention. You don't need extra petals and exploding bomb effects.