The first house I remember growing up in was this little ranch on a cul-de-sac. The front of the house was lined with hedges, there was a crab apple tree in one part of the front yard and a birch tree, maybe – I don’t remember what it was, actually, in the opposite corner. If you were looking at the house from the street, my bedroom was on the very left corner, with two windows – one looking out to the street, another looking at the white house next to us. All of our yards were fenced in, and if you looked down between our two houses, right in front of the fence, there were these “snowballs” growing. I didn’t know them as anything other than snowballs for the longest time. I remember watching them each year and being fascinated by them and how the ants all loved to climb and eat at them.
We moved houses when I was in middle school and my mom dug up the plant and took them with us. I never really knew why, I just figured she loved them and didn’t want to let them go. For years and years they grew at my mom’s house, right next to the foundation. And then, a few years ago, she decided she didn’t want them anymore. I’m not sure why, other than maybe just wanting to do something different with her flower beds. So we dug them up, and I brought them home with me. I planted them in the front flower bed, not realizing that they needed a lot more sun than the front bed gets. They almost died but I managed to rescue them in just enough time to move them to another location.
A relative of mine is big into genealogy, and she likes to post up stories occasionally about my great grandmother (who I didn’t really know). Do you know why we had white snowballs (peonies)? Because those were my great grandmother’s favorite flower. She’s the one that called them snowballs. Years ago I was determined to plant roses in honor of my grandmother (Her middle name was Rose). I wanted to have something in my garden in honor of her and to remind me of her. I’m not, apparently, the only one who felt planting flowers was a great way of honoring loved ones and my mother had already beaten me to it years ago with these peonies.