20 July 2009
Everything's poppin' up poppies!
Yesterday dawned a little foggy but also sunny, and since I was feeling pretty good, we decided to go to Liverpool, collect the rest of my stuff, and put that chapter of my life (happily) far, far behind me. As we got ready, I looked outside, told longsuffering spouse I'd be a few minutes, and took off outside with my camera.
Some mornings we have what I call 'breathing fog.' It's very odd, and seems to come in and go back out again like inhalations and exhalations of breath. One moment the sun is obscured, the next it's breaking through the mist, and the next everything is bathed in sunlight. It makes for a lot of moisture, but also some interesting light and great photography moments.
Those who are regular readers of bloomingwriter know that I adore poppies of all kinds, be they annual, perennial, biennial, or blue. Right now, right on schedule, the big annual breadseed poppies have begun blooming in earnest.
I collect seed every year from the ones I like the best and then cast it around the garden here and there, and let the poppies do their thing. They also selfseed, of course, and they seem to cross pollinate, coming up with some extraordinary shades.
Our absolute favourites in the annual poppies are these deep wine double beauties. Aren't they great? Maybe not to everyone's tastes, but I love dark-wine flowers, and have a number of different plants with rich dark flowers or foliage.
Poppies catch the light as beautifully as do tulips, as they have equally transluscent, silken petals. They don't last as long as individual flowers, but they're profuse and for a few weeks we get to enjoy quite a happy show of colours.
As one poppy finishes and drops its blooms, others are opening up to show off their beauty, while still others are preparing to open or getting in the queue for a performance in a few days time.
One particular bed is host to mostly bright pink, single poppies. I love their foliage too, until the flowers are spent. Then I only leave in the ones that we'll use to collect seed; the rest get hauled out because their foliage gets quite ratty looking.
I spend a good deal of time looking into the centre of our poppies, with or without my camera. Everything about their flowers pleases me, from their showy petals to their complex hearts with the many stamens clustered around the central carpal.
In case you're feeling a bit bludgeoned by all those deep, rich colours, here's a little contribution from the Icelandic poppies, which are never shy about showing off THEIR beauty. These biennial or perennial poppies will bloom themselves almost to death, especially if you're faithful about deadheading. I've had them flower until hard frost before. And they pop up in odd places, so I never know where we'll see them, but we welcome them always.