The national flower; my favorite flower. Subject of classic literature, imperial paintings. I’ve been waiting for this bloom for nine months. The Beijing Botanic Garden has 670 species of tree peony (herbaceous peonies a whole ‘nother collection; not flowering yet). A peony garden so large (acre after acre, hill after hill), so beautiful, so varied, it could make you cry. Or pose. Or paint, or picnic. The tulip fields (below) were also at peak.