It always seemed to me that the herbaceous peony is the very epitome of June. Larger than any rose,
it has something of the cabbage rose's voluminous quality; and when it finally drops from the vase, it
sheds its petticoats with a bump on the table, all in an intact heap, much as a rose will suddenly fall,
making us look up from our book or conversation, to notice for one moment the death of what had
still appeared to be a living beauty.