Our own Lova Blavarg drew these wonderful animals in charcoal.

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Ahh, sweet summer is here and with it the glorious arrival of a everyone’s favorite flower – the peony!


With its spectacular display of colors (think pink, red, yellow and white!), lush, unbridled petals, and a delicate, intoxicating fragrance, it’s no surprise that the peony has been a delighting the senses for thousands of years. In fact, written records from as far back as 8 their enchanting beauty. Is it any wonder then that the peony is known the world over as “queen of the flowers?”


Today, peonies are just as stunning as ever and, thanks to new and improved varieties they're even easier to grow. There are three main types of peonies to consider when planting. The most common and widely available is the herbaceous peony (Paeonia lactiflora). Herbaceous peonies grow to about three feet tall, die back to the ground each winter, then sends up vigorous sprouts each spring. The other is the tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa), a slow-growing woody-stemmed shrub that can reach up to six feet. The third is a hybrid of the two. A combination of all three makes for a spring garden that darn near looks like it jumped out of a painting.


As dazzling as peonies are, they’re surprisingly no-fuss and require very little attention (I’m talking to you, brown-thumbs!) They survive the harshest winters, are practically drought resistant, and aren't bothered by deer or rabbits. Though peonies fare best in cool climates, early-blooming varieties with low-chill requirements can thrive in even some parts of the deep South.



Animal Gift Tag Printables Animal Gift Tag Printables (7057 KB)

You will need:
animal printouts
roll of craft paper
School glue

  1. Print out animals.
  2. Cut around the edges.
  3. Wrap your gifts in craft paper.
  4. Glue the animals to the gifts.


The giraffe goes on the tall gifts, and the elephant goes on the big ones!

Our friend Lova Blavarg drew these wonderful animals in charcoal. You can download the images and print them out and use them on your own gifts!
Photography by Susanna Blavarg

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