We ended up not going to Starved Rock today, which I must admit I was pretty happy about. Although it's turned out to be a gorgeous afternoon, the threatening rain this morning didn't really encourage me to go hiking for the day. So, Manda and I still headed to the Farmer's Market as planned, and hit up a few garage sales as we've been doing nearly every weekend since mid-April. No great finds today, but we did grab a few fun things at the Farmer's Market (including donuts, of course).
On top of fresh cheese curds (oh, yum), organic tomatoes and some asparagus, I decided to celebrate our first Farmer's Market trip of the year with some peonies, which are now sitting happily in a vase downstairs. Typically, I steer clear of spending money on flowers and plants because I don't do well with keeping them alive... but now that it's my first spring in the house I'm itching for some plant life around here and have decided to give it another shot. I think the fact that the peonies are so pretty will help motivate me to remember to change the water and trim the stems.
At one of the garage sales we went to, we saw that the owners had a peony bush, which had TONS of gorgeous blooms on it and livened up their whole front yard. I, of course, being as indecisive as I am, decided it would be much more fun to have those in my front yard instead of the lilacs I've been dying for. After some quick reading online and talking with my dad, however, I've learned that both the lilac and peony bushes bloom in the late spring / early summer... and that's it. One website I read did say that certain varieties of peonies can bloom for up to six weeks throughout the summer, so I'll have to see if those types are available around here!
As usual, I have weddings on the brain, and was talking to Manda over donuts about how I've always said I would go to Trader Joes or Whole Foods or the Farmer's Market the morning of my wedding and just buy a bunch of flowers there, tie a ribbon around them and use them as my bouquet. I just cannot see myself spending hundreds of dollars on flowers that are bound to (unfortunately) die a few days later. Not to mention the fact that I think a big bunch of peonies is prettier than many other flowers anyways!
How great would it be to just step out into my own yard and pick peonies that morning instead of running around town looking for blooms?!