Post Wedding Shower

Thanksgiving Eve Gathering

Mansion in May

Wallpaper

Repair Months

Christmas 2009

Side Chairs

Fall Arrival 2009

The Beach House

A Casual Dinner Party

The Peonies Arrival

The anticipation of the peonies arrival – usually in early June – has become a ritual at Hidden Pond Farm.

My family and I wait in anticipation of this great event—estimating what day the peak will be; growing concerned when the weather turns too hot or a heavy rain is in the forecast. The Peony Path (as we call it) is a burgeoning ribbon of heart-stopping color and lushness. The Path is walked by dogs, children and grandmothers and causes great celebration and evokes tender memories. It has been the inspiration for parties, including a 25th wedding anniversary renewal of vows, and has brought countless bucket- and scissor-arriving friends. For many years, the Susan G. Komen Foundation survivor’s luncheon was the recipient of hundreds of Hidden Pond Farm peonies, which graced tables in full-bloom happiness.

More than 50 years ago, a 300-foot uncut stone path was laid between the grey cow, horse barn and the main brick house. On both sides of the path, a four-foot-wide band of peonies and irises were planted.  In the style of the late English gardener Gertrude Jekyll, the peonies were planted in a matter-of-fact order so that revelers walking the path were able to enjoy the varieties twice (and cut from either end to gather all of the assortments for a bouquet). The order: White with yellow centers; pink double blossoms; rich burgundy; pink; and, lastly, white again.

Today, the path is cushioned with a covering of creeping thyme which has spread like a lavender moss. This slightly undulating path of herbaceous peonies is completely cut back in the fall to ground level, and every spring the stalks push up through the dirt and begin their growth to magnificent perfection around this time every year.

The peonies are the fullness of spring and the promise of summer and – like all constants in life – are reassuring in the best way.  I hope this first installment of Views from Hidden Pond inspires you and your family to embrace beauty and color in and around your home…and to celebrate life.

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