Monday, June 17, 2013


I love peonies.
Can I share a peony story with you today?  I think you'll enjoy it.
When I was a kid, my parents had a very long driveway.  Along this driveway, were, white & pink.  There must have been 15 bushes all in a row.  
Not once do I recall, in all my childhood, seeing a vase of peonies in our house.  My mom HATED the ants that swarmed the blooms and wanted no part of them.
One day, my dad & brother decided to get rid of all the peonies along the driveway.  (To this day, neither my mom, nor my siblings seem to recall why they did this.)  Tragic?  Yes, but what did I know?  I was young and never gave the flowers a thought. 
Forward ahead 20+ years, while visiting my in-laws.  I entered their home and immediately my nose caught the whiff of something very pleasant.  It was a scent that I recognized, yet I had no idea what it was or why I recognized it.
I quickly asked my mother-in-law what it was I was smelling.  She told me it was her peonies.  She had them in a vase on the kitchen island.
I ran over to them and took in their heavenly scent.  I froze on the spot.
Oh my goodness!  I couldn't believe it! 
Wasn't that the scent that I remember permeating the outside air while I played outside as a kid?
Wasn't that the scent I smelled while riding my bike, playing hopscotch, and jumping rope?
Wasn't that the scent I remembered while playing hide n' seek &  roller skating too?
It was the scent of my childhood, yet until that moment, I didn't realize it. 
It astounded me that a scent could bring me back 20+ years and give me such happy thoughts.
So after all these years, I finally have my own peonies in our yard.   
I may not have 15 bushes of them, but cut & placed in a pitcher on the table, I can have the same beautiful scent that takes me back to my childhood in an instant.
So tell me,  can you relate?  Do you have a scent that takes you back to another time & place?


Welcome! I'm Gina. Like the header says, this blog is all about home, food and life..


  1. Gina, wow what a story about the peonies when you were a child and had the, dug up and now how you adore them. I don't have them now but I did back in Pennsylvania. I do love them, I actually just rinse them to get rid of the ants. Improve you shade of color.

  2. Oh I can relate in fact mine have yet to bloom. So my daughter picked a few of hers this morning and I now have them on display. Mine are two toned pink yours are beautiful!

  3. Hi Gina! I'm so happy for you and those peonies are so gorgeous! Wish I had some.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  4. I remember peonies from living in PA, but none to be found here in Texas :-(
    It is strange how scents can evoke memories. I'm so glad you have your own peony bush to enjoy. xo

  5. I love that story. I don't have any peonies ( because I hate the ants too).. maybe I should "woman" up and plant some! : )

  6. oh- I know, Gina- They are part of my childhood, too. Did you know that without ants around they will not open? I love them- xo Diana

  7. I love them too! So funny that your Mom hated the. Yours are gorgeous Gina! Thanks for the sweet compliment too btw.

  8. This is my first year with peonies, but they have not bloomed yet so I am not sure what color they are. They are from my husbands aunts house.
    As far as childhood scents, I do, just can't think of any right now!

  9. What a sweet story, Gina! I love peonies, too. We grew them along the side of the lakehouse and the scent would drift through the open windows. Sadly we lost them when the house was renovated (long story). I really miss that lovely scent and having them inside in vases.


  10. Love the story!
    Yes, I have a smell from
    childhood. It is crayons,
    their smell takes me back
    to preschool. Awwwww.

    :o )

  11. Gina, I enjoyed reading your story about the peonies, and yours are gorgeous in that white pitcher! I have tried to grow peonies, but I have no luck with them. Speaking about memories, the smell of Coppertone suntan lotion always takes me back to family trips to the beach! Do they even still make that stuff?

  12. Wonderful post! My childhood flowers have to be those little lily of the valleys. they smell so good! I remember as a very small girl admiring them. I didn't even know what peonies were until about 12 years ago! Then I couldn't get enough of them! Sadly, we don't have peonies this far south.

  13. I can totally relate to that story!!! My mom had big bushes of them and I remember the smell also, like ivory soap, she would rinse the flowers under the hose outside to make sure no ants came into the house!!!

    For me, I remember the climbing roses that came up the front porch and covered the railings and the posts, they were red and everblooming and smelled so very sweet. I've never found them again.

    I also remember the phlox and beebalm growing along the driveway......we used the mint leaves in cooking from the beebalm.

    Don't ya wonder what your kids will remember???

  14. Odors have such an effect on us! Whenever I smell vegetable soup it reminds me of my grandmother!

    Peonies are one of my favorites too! Did you know that ants on peonies are useful. God uses the ants to help the peonies open but the peonies don't need them to open. They are attracted to the sweet nectar of the flowers.

    What a sweet story! Aren't you glad that the pretty scent of peonies brought back such happy childhood memories!

  15. What a charming story. And yes I do. And since I was raised on the North of the Country and now live 300 km far in the capital the scents aren't so frequent to spot so when I do it's like being hit... best sensation ever. Back to where there was that careless happiness and freedom. Sometimes smells of a warm embrace, sometimes makes you crave a determined food you had.
    Best Feeling ever.
    Thank you for sharing yours,

  16. I love peonies ...I am planning out my flower beds and peonies will be included, but far enough away from the house due to the ants.

  17. I love peonies and would always pick mine,,,complete with the ants! but, I don't have a peony bush in this yard...may have to find a good spot to plant one!! I love the smell of red twizzler licorice and it always takes me back to the canteen at camp...spent lots of change in that candy shop over the years! Thanks for sharing and enjoy your blooms!

  18. Oh Gina, what a great story! I remember the smell of lilacs from when I was a kid, they don't grow here in Florida...I so miss them!


  19. I have always been amazed at how a scent or a song can instantly take you back in time. I have one peony bush and it only grows foliage, no flowers, so when I read that your parents ripped up 15 flowering peony bushes I felt pain shoot through me LOL. Okay that's a little dramatic, but I sure wish I had been around to nab a few.

  20. Your peonies are beautiful! We had them on our farm when I was growing up and I hated them too because of the ants. I guess I just needed to grow up to love them and there fragrance.

  21. Gina, what a special story! I adore Peonies too! Mine have already bloomed and faded away. I love your pitcher of Peonies- a lovely picture! My mother always loved her flowers and I completely understand the fragrance taking one back to their childhood!

  22. I love when that happens. A happy memory from my childhood.

  23. Don't make me sorry I came over here. You know I don't want to see pretty food! Mmmmmmmm:)

  24. Gina, I started to read this a couple of days ago but had to leave the computer without finishing.
    This is a bittersweet story. I hate all the awesome plants were pulled out but I am so glad you have them now.
    Yours are beautiful, what a wonderful color.
    I do have a scent that takes me back to pleasant memories of my childhood. My dear sweet Mom always wore White Shoulders perfume. For many years, when I would smell that fragrance I would think of her. I don't think they make it any longer. I haven't been around any wearing it in years.
    Thanks for refreshing that memory.
    xo Ginger


My Blog Designer- Linda

Follow Along On Instagram