Ants inexhaustibly march up and down the stems of peonies as they gather the sticky, gooey nectar covering the flower buds. The plump pink spheres are ready to open. In fact a peony enjoying earlier morning sun has already begun to bloom, its perfect pale pink blossoms displaying layer after layer of tissue paper-like petals, carefully formed so as to hold gallons of water from a late spring rain. Anyone who has grown peonies know that the delicate flowers are like sponges when it rains. Each bloom holds so much water that the plant is soon weighed down until they all lie flat on the ground unless their stems have been supported by a cage or, more often stakes and strings.