Peonies have a very long history, in fact only a few plants go back as far as peonies. Peonies were mentioned in Greek and Roman mythology and in China have been used and cultivated for over 4,000 years. These herbaceous perennials bloom only once a year and the spectacle lasts about 2-3 weeks. The buds are a show in their own right and usually a few drops of nectar will emerge. This attracts ants because they are drawn to the sugary substance. It is said that the ants actually help open the buds to fully open and once the buds are open the ants return to normal business. It is lovely that something that seems so delicate and unique can survive and even thrive in our climate.