Poppy Season

26 Jun

The earliest poppies are the perennial orientals.  They are almost done now.  The rain today will probably finish off the last blooms.   They come in many colors, red, orange and shades of pink and pale purple.  I grew many of  the ones in the garden from seed.  A two year project as they do not bloom the first year.  I grow them in the vegetable garden and transplant the  one year plants in  August to their permanent homes.

Don’t you love the little furry sepal ‘hat’ the one at left is still wearing?  Watching poppies push open and releasing them the last little bit is fun to do in the early morning.

Now blooming are the annual poppies of several species including Papaver somniferum , which comes in many colors and petal variations–single, double, fringed, picoteed–, p. rhoeas and p. commutatum–the Flanders poppy, or corn poppy and  Shirley poppies after the British man who originally bred them .

Somniferum poppies are the infamous opium poppies.  They are mixed in with and look similar to P. orientalis and the  P. paeoniflorum, including the Flemish antique poppy–many of these are not yet blooming.  They are all lettuce-leaved poppies.  You can see one pale plant sticking up above the  p. rhoeas and commutatums in the photo above.

Jay and I have arguments about how much vegetable garden area I may “waste” (his word) for poppies.  I generally broadcast seed around most of the late fall garden just to ensure poppies will come up somewhere no matter what area he decides to cover with black plastic.  Just last night he commented that he could see the carrots and I must have been pulling poppies.  They do have to be ramped out or will take over.  It is a painful process.

Can you tell I find poppies hard to resist?  I have lots of seed to share, so tell me if you want some..

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