One of the wonderful things about moving home is discovering what floral delights will appear in your new garden.
Apparently, in Victorian times the peony was associated with bashfulness on account of the fact that nymphs hid amongst its petals.
I think there may be another reason.
As the day starts coming to an end, the peony begins to fold its petals in, going to sleep for the night. If you catch it at just the right time it does indeed look bashful.
I know that it is not the only flower to do this but with such large blooms you can almost see it happening. Take your eyes away for a second and it will have closed just a little more.
It also looks quite bashful when first coming into bloom.
Quite frighteningly, it dies away to almost nothing over winter and, never having had one, I worried about it coming back. It is just as glorious this year and I have grown quite fond of it, which is just as well because it is said that moving a peony will bring bad luck.
It stands proudly outside our front door waiting to welcome us home.