While away, the thing I missed most was our garden. The peony buds were coming along nicely and I hoped not to miss any of their divine showiness. One peony bud in particular was on my mind. Nearly three years ago, I was sitting in a favourite spot in Mt. Pleasant cemetery close to the double bed of commemorative peonies that supposedly have one of every type of peony grown in Canada. The gardener was pruning the post-bloom garden and we struck up a conversation. He then gave me 14-15 peony roots and told me to plant them.
I rushed back to work and put them in water and a few days later planted all fourteen in my garden. Nothing green poked through the earth that year. But the following spring, leaves showed up on three cuttings. Last year, a bit more foliage grew on two of them and this year many more leaves grew on a single stem. The only survivor. To my amazement a bud started to form and I was certain that it would blossom. My curiousity about what type of peony would emerge was blooming, and then we left town.
Many mornings in spring and summer I begin my day by checking out our front and back garden with coffee in hand. My first morning back, I did this and was shocked to discover the mystery peony bud was gone. I can only guess that it had blossomed and someone stole it as there was a definite jagged, ripped look to the top of the main stem. Sad to say flowers from our garden are often picked but never did I feel so sad as this time. Could the thief ever have any idea of how long I had been waiting to see this particular flower. What a sad comment on life in the city coinciding with my return to Toronto.
I console myself by saying that the loss of the flower will create a stronger plant for next year, with more flowers because of the energy saved by this years flowerlessness. Sniff . . .
Above is a photo of a peony on our block that made my heart melt with its beauty. This photo is my current BlackBerry screensaver.
As for the return to running, I had a better-than-expected outing. My goal was to run for two hours and I was expecting it to be a bit of a slog as I have gone under my forty-mile-week minimum goal several times in the last six weeks. The cooler temperature, overcast sky and slightly slower pace to accommodate an injured run mate’s injury made for a very comfortable 13+ mile run with energy to spare.
As we waited at Avenue Road and St. Clair for J, R decided to plank. Later on at a water fountain stop, R & J decided to plank. I limited myself to assessing the planking form of my running mates as I find planks difficult and did not want to run with sore abdominals. I recently learned that planking has branched out into plankstering in unusual places. Apparently a plankster died while planking on a moving car. My husband’s intention was not to plankster when he did his on a ferry in Alaska.
A plank a day keeps a backache away. It is a very effective abdominal exercise. Gotta get back to it! Reverting to the topic of peonies, while my all-male running mates enjoy gardening (we toured each others gardens last year) they tell me that real men don’t like peonies. Hmm . . .