Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pretty Pink Poppies

I am quite excited about my annual poppies this year. My Iceland poppies kicked the dust this year and I plucked out an oriental poppy last year because it dared flaunt its peachy colors in my pink and purple color scheme. The color clash was nauseating.

Last winter, I picked up two packets of Papaver somniferum seeds that were supposed to be deep purple and light purple. They were open-pollinated according to the packet, which explains why my purple poppies started blooming pink! They have a light purple cross at the center, and the pink color looks great against the glaucous foliage. The blooms are smaller than those of most oriental poppies, but the plants are quite tall and the flowers show easily from the back of the border.

I have several more plants left to bloom, so hopefully I'll still get some purple ones. I'm thinking of spreading the seeds around at the end of this year, so that I'll have enough to make some poppyseed baked-goods next year.

Resident-lawnmower-man's family has a red peony-flowered version of these breadseed poppies on their farm and the kids remember eating the seeds right out of the dried seedpods, savouring their nutty taste. They always remembered to save a few however, making sure to spread seeds around for the next year. Their mother recalls her amazement as the poppies would mysteriously take over new flower beds, not aware of her little seed-spreaders.

This is one of the easiest attractive flowers I have grown, considering that I just threw the seeds on the ground as soon as the snow melted. Poppies apparently thrive in poor conditions and I'm hoping they can scare off the dandelions that currently live in some of the marginal areas.

1 comment:

kate said...

Those poppies are beautiful. I love the colour - I hope some purple ones come out too. I had to laugh at your story about your resident lawnmower as a child and his mum wondering how poppies seeded everywhere.

I think I'd rather grow these than the oriental ones which are beautiful but don't look quite so appealing as they die back.