I've waited five years for this bloom....
Do you see the fairy face in the petals?
I live too far south for peonies to be really happy. For five years, I've cheered as this plant fought valiantly to live and grow in Texas temps. The first year in my yard, the poor thing completely disappeared during the heat of August. But come spring, there it was, trying again. Each summer for the past five, this peony has grown a little bigger every year and lasted longer each summer. If our summer's weren't enough, our winters are too warm for peonies also.
Last spring, this plant sent out two BB sized buds which never opened. This year, though...this year is a peony year. Our winter was cold and wet. Lots of snow and rain. Our spring has been late and long. (It's May and I haven't yet turned on the house AC system. Usually, the AC goes on in April.)
There are five buds on the shrub, but this is the first. It only goes to show good things happen when you wait and grow.