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My Top 10 Favorite Flowers

peonies

Now that gardening season has returned in full force, it’s time to revel in the glorious abundant beauty of nature (unless, that is, she is thrashing us with her rages). One of my favorite things about the spring-and-summer season is flowers.  So I’ve made a list of my favorites, and why I adore them.

  1. Peonies: Don’t tell the roses, but I think peonies are my favorite. They have all the luscious glory and fragrance of roses, without the thorns or the persnickety-ness. They rise up like little flames from the spring soil, burst like fireworks (covered in ants), and then gently fall back to the earth—perhaps a little mildewy—and hide again until the next spring. I could just stick my face in them forever.
  2. Roses: Root-grown, old-fashioned, fragrant—that’s how I love them! I adore them so much that I can’t bear to pick them. I like pink, peach, white, magenta—I think next year I might try striped. I don’t know why people fear them so much—but then, they are probably not buying the root-grown kind.
  3. Hyacinths: I buy them in the supermarket in the late winter, then plant the withered bulbs in my garden in the spring, and the following year have patches of deliriously fragrant blooms. Few things in life are so easy and so satisfying.
  4. Hydrangeas: Well, they don’t smell much, but they sure do look good! I’ll take them all. One of each! They remind me of the hats women used to wear to church when I was growing up, but I’ll forgive them for that!
  5. Poppies: Simply fascinating to look at up close! Like a combination of a tarantula spider and some alien sexual organ. I finally found a deep red variety, and it is awesome.
  6. Oriental lilies: Again, fragrance rules here. A hot summer night, their waxy blossoms perfuming the night air like some exotic dream…. Yes, that’s a dream I like.
  7. Nicotiana: The only annual to make my list, and again it’s for the fragrance. I mean, who cares what a flower looks like as long as it smells great? That’s my philosophy. But still, she is pretty and long lasting, and does her job filling in the spaces where the perennials have yet to tread. I’ll keep her, and invite her back again next year.
  8. Snowdrops: First sign of spring, harbinger of warmth and all good things to come, I love it when they grow wild and crazy.
  9. Lavender: Such a useful, all-around wonderful and amazing plant—and it smells good, too.
  10. Violets: I adore them because they are wild and seem magical. According to my Native American plant guide, they are a symbol of the need to simplify. That is a message I really need to hear!
  11. Sunflowers! OK, this one is not mine, it’s Lucia’s! All kids love sunflowers, and should grow them just because they are amazing.

What’s your favorite flower, and why do you love it?

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21 Responses to My Top 10 Favorite Flowers

  1. Amy Freitag May 18, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    Maria:

    My favorite quote from one of the women that I research at the founders of Garden Club of America in 1913: “I love Zinnias because they are the only flower that can hold up to the hot hands of small children”

    I love your blog.

  2. Paula May 18, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    Thanks for the praise of the peonies! I’ve loved them since I was a kid in my grandma’s and great aunt’s gardens. My Dad brought them to our yard and though they’re already there at the place we just bought, I think I’ll bring grandma’s for good measure. Peonies were even the featured flower in my wedding bouquet. Here in Germany they are called Pentecost Roses because that’s when they bloom and they are as lovely as roses (lovelier!).

  3. Nasreen Kabir May 18, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Pansies i had this lovely sari with pansies all over lost it wish could find another one. We are forbidden to grow roses in our family. No idea WHY or WHOSE instruction.

  4. Laurie Reinhart May 18, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    mmmmmm Hyacyiths. I love they’re great big heads that they almost can’t hold up and that they are one of the first beacons of spring and their outrageous fragrance.
    My summer love is the Dalhia.

  5. Dana from Maria's Kitchen May 18, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Peonies! My mom’s favorite! She use to grow them around our house and send them off with us to school for our teachers when they bloomed. 🙂 Of course my grandma (her mom) grew beautiful ones too.

  6. Barbamama May 18, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    I transplanted peony roots from my mother’s garden several years ago. It took 2 years for them to bloom at my house, but now they are gorgeous. Even more gorgeous to me because my mom died in 2008 and they remind me of her. Peonies can last 50-70 years in a good location.

  7. James Early May 18, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I love all flowers. But lilacs are at the top. They are so amazingly fragrant. And the thing I like most about them is there are more of them every year as my three lilac bushes get bigger each season. There are so many, it’s fun to share them with friends and take them to Church on Sundays where the fill the place with their fragrance. I guess what I love most about flowers is having enough to share with others–spread the joy.

  8. Michelle May 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    My favorites are Echinacea and my white cone flowers. The Echinacea are such a vibrant purple and the blue birds and gold finches just love the seeds, they’ll perch on the stem and eat their fill. The white cone flowers are a burst of white against the dark green leaves, just love looking at them.

  9. Laura "Glad" May 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    It’s hard to pick a favorite, but, I love gladiolus. My grandparents had a huge garden with a big patch of glads, and I think that’s one reason I like them. They just scream “summer” and they make a dramatic bouquet!

  10. Amanda May 18, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    1. Totally peonies. I once got attacked by a dog while attempting to ask permission to pick some peonies along the side of the road. My skirt was torn to shreds and I had some red welts on my legs, but I left with arms full of heady peonies. Is it crazy that I think it was worth it?!

    2. Lilies of the valley.

    3. Violets.

  11. june May 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    Datura Moon Flower, Hibiscus, Easter Lily, Lilacs (especially the doubles), Peonies, Buddlea…

  12. maria barreto May 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Since I was a young girl, Gladiolus because they are long, many blossom on the same strand and they last long not to mention hundreds of species. Sunflowers too as they remind me of the sun and a happy face.

  13. Maya May 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    Peonies!

  14. Sue Smallwood May 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Peonies for me too. But my two year old granddaughter, Hannah, says, Dandelions.

  15. wentyrose May 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    Pansies at the moment. In Australia it’s autumn and these little faces keep me happy through the colder months. I love roses, poppies,dandelions!,flowering eucalypts (they bring the birds),lavender and dahlias too

  16. Pam May 18, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    My absolute favorite flower is a Sweet Briar Rose. The thorns are brutal, but the leaves smell like green apples. When it rains the scent drifts and perfumes my small yard. The flowers are sweet and pink, and it has gorgeous rose hips in the fall. I have to have one in the yard every time I move!

  17. Kelly May 19, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Can’t wait for my peonies to bloom, I have white, light pink, and bright fuchsia…..while I wait for those big beauties….I have my sweet bed of Lily of the Valley to enjoy! Love the purple coneflower too!!!! Oh but yes, the heavenly lilac!!

  18. Donna in Delaware May 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    Peonies, because it was the flower of two of my favorite people in the whole world, my grandmother and step-father. I love, love, love them! They make such wonderful flower arrangements and last quite awhile on the vase.

  19. Donna in Delaware May 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    My grandmother also loved roses, petunias and four o’clocks!

  20. karen in winchester May 24, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    I just love night scented Jasmine, the fragrance lifts me whenever I get near to it and it’s not hard to look after, in fact, it grows like a weed in my back garden, but it loves a good hack back now and again, then there’s more flowers, it’s wonderful. I also have an ornamental black currant bush out front, no smell but the blue tits are always having fun in there and their chittering is such a nice sound.

  21. Fae January 31, 2012 at 2:45 am #

    I agree with pretty much all of these, but you forgot lilacs! They always go into bloom here right around my grandparents’ anniversary at the start of May so I bring them bushels of lilacs every year. I’ve always had a thing for nasturtiums and marigolds which I grew as a kid.
    For fragrance nothing beats stargazer lilies, though some people find them too strong. I love the smell of jasmine and gardenia (though it’s hard to keep either in my house or yard, too cold!)

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