Third Sunday in Advent 2013

Through Advent this year I have been picking out favourite flowers and saying why I like them. This week’s flower is a white Peony, given to me by a friend several years ago, so I cannot say what kind it is.


It flowers in June and the main reason for loving it is the wonderful perfume that wafts across the garden for a couple of weeks – sometimes longer. But it is also a signal that spring has turned to summer as the last tulips fade and the sun gets stronger. The little spots of pink on the petal edges are a detail that becomes more prominent as the flower unfolds into huge frilly heads. Yes, they tend to flop over, especially if it rains heavily, but the past few years I have managed to stake them early enough, and a rainshower is the perfect excuse to cut some and bring them indoors to enjoy the scent to the full!

Do you grow flowers for their perfume? What’s your favourite?


Enjoy the third week of Advent everyone!


43 thoughts on “Third Sunday in Advent 2013

    • You could be right Marian – I just looked at some pictures of Festive Maxima and it is very much like mine. Thanks – that’s made my day! ๐Ÿ˜€

  1. What a lovely flower. I can see why you are featuring it. I adore scent in the garden and I have a fondness for roses and sweet peas. Those cookies look delicious I hope you don’t mind if I have one…yummy…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I’m not a big fan of peonies, their flowering period is too short but I do have a peony farm near by so can satisfy myself with visiting that. If you get the chance you should come to visit

    • I was lucky and had peonies for about two months last summer! (early May to early July) They probably benefitted from the very cool and wet spring. There is apparently a peony centre not far from here, but at a time of year when I need (want) to spend any spare time in my own garden!

  3. Lovely peony, I don’t mind that they don’t last long, they bridge the gap between spring and summer flowers along with iris and oriental poppies, all beautiful flowers.

    • I have several different ones that flower through May and June, so they clearly mark spring moving into summer – a lovely thought in the depths of dark December!

  4. Gardening is all about senses and scents are most important. Apart from roses, I love Sarcococca, Chimonanthus, Lonicera purpusii, Viburnum…to name just a few ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. My favourite scents in our garden are those of the hamamelis and the Sweet peas. Right now I have freesias in the room. When I buy a bouquet af flowers there is always a flower or bench with scent in it. Your peony looks lovely!

    • I love the smell of hamamelis too – and freesias indoors are a very nice scent, and not too overpowering like some flowers. I had a bunch of daffodils indoors once and they were so strong we had to put them outdoors on the patio! Have a good week Uta. ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Have never grown a peony and am not sure why – must remedy that situation as they always look do wonderfully frilly and frothy. Favourite scented flowers – sweet peas for summer and snowdrops for winter. Is that a sample of your baking Cathy?

    • Yes, some of my Christmas cookies… at the moment the smell of vanilla and cinnamon is predominant in the house! My sister gave me a bunch of Sarah Bernhardt peonies last spring and they smelt beautiful too. Definitely a lovely showy one. I must see if my snowdrops smell at all this spring – have never noticed any scent before.

  7. I definitely put a high value on fragrance in the garden. Probably my favorites are the Oriental Lillies, though I also like sweet alyssum and fragrant roses. I have a currant called clove currant that is supposed to have a wonderful fragrance but I think it is not yet mature enough for the fragrance to be really noticeable.

  8. Pretty! I’ve been thinking about planting one in my front garden, but ti won’t be for another year or two. I rather like the odd fleeting but showy plant in the garden, it helps add to the dynamism and mark the changing of the seasons.

    • I think it depends on the weather and position, but they can last several weeks. I do love the way they mark the seasons too, and they are definitely head-turners!

    • Hi Donna! The cardamom star cookies were so good they have all gone already! I wish I could grow cardamom and vanilla in my garden… now that would be a good scent in the summer! Have a good week Donna!

  9. Your peony is beautiful – worthy of including in your Advent list of favourite flowers. I inherited a peony from the last owner of this garden – I love the flowers and seeing the new shoots push up in the spring.

    • It was a difficult choice just picking out four flowers to highlight. Unfortunately last year they got flattened in an extremely heavy rainstorm, so I appreciated them even more this year!

  10. Gorgeous peony – and how delightful that it is a fragrant one! I love peonies, but don’t grow any (I don’t have the space at the moment). My favourite fragrant plants in my garden are the various thymes and the catmint – I hope to add some more scented flowers over the next few summers.

    • I have an early one too that doesn’t smell but has pretty deep pink flowers. I hope you have space for one some day in the future! I planted some catmint in the autumn so am looking forward to that next year. ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. I love peonies, I have some Sarah Bernhardt, that are pink, big and blowsy and guaranteed to make it pour with rain the second they open. I love their sheer extravagance and even though they are fleeting the scent is fabulous. I am going to add ‘Bowl of Beauty’ this year, apparently it has a longer flowering period and really lovely scent too. And invest in some of those lovely peony baskets to stake them with. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • My sister has that one and also said how lovely it was last summer. I planted a “Bowl of Beauty” 2 years ago and it had one bloom last year, but I’m not convinced it IS Bowl of Beauty! I think the labels got mixed up, or perhaps it will bloom “properly” next spring! I don’t know peony baskets – you have got me searching on the Internet now, as I always have to remember to stake my peonies early enough… Thanks Julie!

  12. Peonies are one of my favourite blooms. Their scent is heavenly. Pfingstrosen (whitsun roses) seem much more common here in Germany than in the UK and I don’t mind that their season is so short; rather like asparagus, I can binge on them without feeling guilty and appreciate them much more when they’re over.

    • I know what you mean about asparagus (and strawberries are the same) and really love the shortest of flowers simply for putting all their effort into a brief burst of colour! By the way – enjoying the cheese! Thanks Sally! ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. I just love Peonies! I can’t grow them successfully, but I admire them whenever they’re in a bouquet. I do think the fragrance is beautiful, and to be honest, I don’t think I give fragrance enough thought in my garden planning. I need to really see what I can do to encourage more fragrance. Your Advent cookies are a very nice idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I think the lavender and peonies are the only plants that I can really smell immediately when I go out, and the elderflowers in the woods just beyond our fence. Thyme is a nice plant for fragrance too, when you brush past it. I have no idea what grows in your climate, but surely lavender?

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