Stopping by Trader Joe's the other day we spotted the season's first Peonies. We grabbed up a bunch (at $6.99 it was a great price) and waited for them to open. Now a couple of days later just 2 of the 5 stems have exploded open and we can't wait to watch their transformation:Peonies, our very favorite flowers, have a life of their own, a lot like tulips do (or second favorite flower). Peonies go from tight balls to wide open fluttery poofs and their color fades as they bloom as well so the bouquet you start with is completely different from the one you end up with. Plus, for us, peonies mean the beginning of summer, remind us of trips to the East Coast and make the table look like a still life with their painterly blooms.