Two summers ago I bought a peony. Not a full plant, just one of those sad plastic bags that contain a root and a handful of soil. It was a whim -- had I been thinking more clearly I would have just gone to the nursery and bought a big, healthy plant. But I fell victim to the gorgeous picture on the bag, and I grabbed it up.
I brought it home and planted it, and lo and behold, it eventually emerged from the ground. I was very excited. That is, until my neighbor's teenage son stood in our flowerbed to trim the bushes that were reaching over from their side of the fence. I'm sure he never even noticed the tiny thing just an inch or so high, and it was demolished.
The next spring, though, it poked its head out again. It lived! I nearly cried when I saw it. And then I got the numb-brained idea to move it to a "better spot" in the same flower bed. I dug it up and moved it, realizing too late that I'd made a big mistake. At the hands of my mistreatment, the poor thing vanished again.
I was sure I'd finally done it in for good.
This year, though, it emerged yet again, and, with no interference from silly humans, it put out its first bloom.
I'm so glad it did.
It smells as wonderful as it looks.