If there was a “signature” flower here at Inverbrook it would be our peonies. The plants were brought to the property by my grandmother and her parents when they moved from Boxwood Farm outside of Media to Inverbrook in the late 1930s. Below is a picture of the whole Whetherill clan (my great-grandmother’s family) at Boxwood Farm. My grandmother, Ida Kerr Lofting, is seated on the ground 6th from the left with her dark hair, tan skin, and stripped stockings (her hand is on her knee). I imagine somewhere in the gardens behind the gang of relatives are the parent plants of the peonies that now grace Inverbrook. My grandmother used to talk about selling bunches of peonies as a child at Boxwood Farm—so here we are doing the very same thing some 85 years later. Today at the Friday Farmstand (for CSA members only) I will have bunches of peonies for sale. They are just beginning to open, how appropriate considering this week’s flower moon.
Peonies truly are one of my favorite flowers. The big beautiful blooms and a smell that I love almost more than any other scent (lily of the valley and magnolia are also favorites), it is hard to find a flower that rivals the peony. Unfortunately the bloom time is very short. Consequently the peonies have inspired a “soft” opening of the CSA, next week you are welcome to come get a small share of basically lettuce and peonies (if you feel the drive is worth it). CSA members will receive an email outlining this fact, feel free to email if you have any questions. The header photo is from Azia Graham and the peony bud was taken by Kelly G.