Saturday, July 03, 2010

First Poppies and Pumpkin Dreams

Both Papaver somniferum (breadseed poppies) and Papaver rhoeas (corn poppies) started to bloom in the last two days. These are both annuals and I love them for their beautiful flowers, yearly re-seeding, and easy growing requirements. Papaver rhoeas looks better over its longer blooming season and has more attractive foliage after blooming, compared with P. somniferum. However, P. somniferum makes a generous crop of seeds that are delicious in buns and loaves! To plant either of these in a cooler/northern zone, simply throw the seeds in your garden in April. No special fertilizer or watering is required.

Unfortunately, I didn't thin the P. somniferum very well this year, so many are quite tiny and crammed together like some kind of field crop. Thus, I am not showing you any pictures of those today. I promise to do better next year!

Papaver rhoeas in a lovely pink shade:

The most common P. rhoeas usually comes in a bright orangey-red, but I grew these from a combination of seeds I shamelessly stole from someone else's garden and a package of Cedric Morris mix from Thompson and Morgan.

Otherwise, I am trying to encourage the pumpkins into producing some baby pumpkins already. Thus far, I have only seen the male flowers, which drop off leaving only a dead-ended bare stem. Baby pumpkins started to appear in late July of 2009, so I suppose these aren't totally hopeless vines. I started these pumpkins indoors in the last week of April, as we have a short season and pumpkins need a bit of an indoor headstart here.
This is a flower bud on the pumpkin vine today:

Oh yes, and here is a new daylily I bought to replace the many that died over this past winter. No, it's not anything exotic (especially since it came from a big box store), but I'm hoping Purple d'Oro is a reliable workhorse like it's ubiquitous yellow relative, Stella.

Finally, here is the Alpine rock garden, looking okay now that I've angrily ripped out and sprayed Roundup on the multitude of poplar suckers appearing in and around this bed. Here's a tip for any gardener contemplating a new flower bed: Don't bother making one anywhere near a poplar tree. You will come to grief.


Karen said...

Purple d'Oro has always been reliable for me. Not quite the ubiquitous bloomer that Stella d'Oro is, but much prettier, in my opinion.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Your alpine rock garden is looking good - yay! I wonder if the suckering is also a problem with Swedish Columnar Aspen. I hope not as we have them along one bed.

Nice new daylily. :)

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

LOl about the poplar...ain't that the truth. I'm fascinated at how you're actually ahead of me now, garden wise (annual poppies aren't blooming yet except for one in the greenhouse, daylilies are still weeks from flowering. Love your rock garden, too.

Rosey said...

Things are filling in nicely. I remember when you first posted this new project. I love seeing your progress! Dang those poplars!