Six on Saturday. Poppy Love.

We have been away. We set off on Monday, swimming our way south despite Biblical deluges, sink holes appearing on the M25 and cars getting stranded on the M20. We fully expected plagues of frogs and locusts, but nevertheless we managed to look  round Sissinghurst and Great Dixter in the pouring rain. Or at least I did, the Pianist sat in the car with his crossword.

But now we are home and it’s Saturday again, time to look around the garden here for six eye-catching plants to share for Six on Saturday. The rain doesn’t seem to have done any damage and the roses are looking magnificent. But they are for another post. For my six today I have chosen some scrumptious poppies. I love all poppies for their silky petals and gorgeous colours. I would love to have the right conditions for the fabulous blue Himalayan poppies which grow in damper parts of the country. But looking round today, I realise that I have quite a nice range of different sorts of poppies giving pops of colour all round the garden.

First the oriental poppies which are so easy to grow, although they laze around languorously and need a bit of support. If you want to propagate them then taking root cuttings is the way to do it, although come to think of it, it might be fun to grow them from seed and and see what colours you get. The blooms don’t last long and the foliage looks a mess when they have finished flowering but you can cut them right back and they will come to no harm.  I love the dirty, faded-plum colour of Papaver  orientale ‘Patty’s Plum’ with its ruffled petals.

Papaver orientale ‘Patty’s Plum’

Cedric Morris used to say that his namesake, Papaver orientale ‘Cedric Morris’ was a washed out colour and reminded him of dirty knickers, which is rather rude and unjust as it is a pretty shade of  very pale pink.

Papaver orientale ‘Cedric Morris’

I like white and black together on a flower so I grow Papaver orientale ‘Wedding Day’.

Papaver ‘Wedding Day’

My father always used to grow the tall, bright scarlet ‘Beauty of Livermere” so I grow it too because it was in all our gardens when I was a child.

Papaver orientale ‘Beauty of Livermere’

Red seems to be the proper colour for a poppy, and I wouldn’t be without annual poppies. Fields of wild poppies are a rare sight these days, but in the garden I grow the ladybird poppy, Papaver comutatum ‘Ladybird’ which is bright red with black blotches. It comes from Turkey and I have seen it growing in Crete too.

Papaver commutatum ‘Ladybird’

Bees love it too.

Opium poppies are easy and seed around each year.  I am surprised that we are allowed to grow them but then perhaps the process of making opium is rather complicated. I love the almost black ones, some of them come up double and others are single. If different colours appear I pull them out as I only want black ones. I started out with the fully double peony flowered one called ‘Black Peony’ but the single ones are pretty too.

Papaver somniferum

Papaver somniferum ‘Black Peony’

In my Mediterranean garden I have a pure white prickly poppy which has lovely foliage. It is a perennial and easy from seed. It is called Argemone platyceras. Graham Rice said that prickly poppies are among the unsung heroes of the poppy family and I agree, not many people seem to grow them. They like a nice sunny well drained position.

Argemone platyceras

Argemone platyceras

In front of my shed I have a ‘beach’ and here I grow an orange horned sea poppy, Glaucium corniculatum which has lovely silvery foliage and seeds around.

Glaucium corniculatum

Glaucium corniculatum

My last poppy has been blooming for ages and it just keeps on producing more and more double flowers all summer. I have never planted it and it puts itself about all over the garden so I just pull it out in areas where the bright orange would clash. It is Papaver rupifragum and it comes from Spain. I would probably appreciate it more if it was rare and difficult. But I wouldn’t be without it and I am not likely to be either.

Papaver rupifragum

Much as I love poppies, it seems a pity not to feature any of the other gorgeous June- flowering beauties; there is so much going on in the garden right now. But we have to be disciplined when joining in with the Propagator’s Six on Saturday meme. No rambling off on tangents, or ‘on a tandem’ as a friend of mine who was known for her malapropisms used to say. Never mind there is always another post, meanwhile do check out The Propagator and the many other bloggers who join him on a Saturday.

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55 Responses to Six on Saturday. Poppy Love.

  1. You have so many different kinds of Poppies and they are all so pretty.

  2. One Man And His Garden Trowel says:

    Lovely selection of poppies. I’ve tried growing the ladybird variety this year. That white one is very elegant.

  3. Noelle says:

    The orange horned sea poppy with its great plant structure, glaucous leaves etc then the orange blooms is my top of your poppies…..may look out for seeds this autumn. Thanks for showing your rich collection of beautiful poppy blooms.

  4. bcparkison says:

    So pretty. I have never had any luck with seeding poppies but this year I did get a few up and they are wimpy. Just pitiful.

  5. Pingback: A Random Six on Saturday | Rambling in the Garden

  6. snowbird says:

    What gorgeous poppies, my eyes are watering looking at them! I love them all. especially the horned sea poppies. Hope you had a good time

  7. ecopoet says:

    Love the “Lady bird’- very unique

  8. Heyjude says:

    What a lovely bunch of poppies you have – I particularly like that orange horned sea poppy, I have never seen one that colour. I have some poppies that self-seed here, they don’t last long and I guess they are annuals. I will try and get a photo when one flowers! And the wild poppy flower fields near Newquay (West Pentire) are a sight to behold. I suppose they will be over now after all the rain and wind this week. Sorry your trip was a wash out. I would love to visit Kent / East Sussex again for a holiday – some great gardens that way.

    • Chloris says:

      Lovely to have wild poppy fields to enjoy. You used to see them in Suffolk sometimes but it is a rare sight now, farmers are too keen on their herbicides. If you remind me in the Autumn I will send you some seeds of the orange horned poppy.

  9. susurrus says:

    What a shame. The main thing is you are home safe again and the poppies are out to welcome you. I’d love to visit Great Dixter and Charleston.

    • Chloris says:

      Great Dixter in the rain had its advantages, not many other people were mad enough so I could enjoy it without the crowds.The gardens at Gravetye Manor were stunning too.

      • jenhumm116 says:

        Oooh – so glad you got to Gravetye! It’s one of my absolute favourites. I hope you enjoyed it.
        Did you have a meal there? My lunch a few weeks ago was sensational.

      • Chloris says:

        It was our wedding anniversary so we treated ourselves to dinner and a night there. It was fabulous.

  10. janesmudgeegarden says:

    How gorgeous the poppies are in their tissue like frills. I’ve not had much luck with them here and I’m puzzled as to what the reason could be because I think they don’t mind heat too much, and anyway it isn’t so very hot in the spring when they flower. I haven’t tried Oriental poppies, and looking at yours makes me think I should.

    • Chloris says:

      I don’t understand why you can’t grow annual poppies. Maybe you will have more luck with oriental ones, they are really sumptuous and well worth a try.

  11. Kris P says:

    You’ve got a gorgeous collection. I adore the oriental poppies and have repeatedly tried to grow them, only to fail miserably on each occasion. Suffering from delusions prompted by our generous winter rains, I ordered a trio of them from my favorite Northern California nursery only to have these perish well before they produced a single bud. However, at least the California poppies came through for me this year and I’m holding off on clean-up to ensure they have plenty of time to drop their seed. Meanwhile the Matilija poppy (Romneya couteri), which looks a little like your Argemone on steroids, may be over-achieving.

    • Chloris says:

      Romneya is beatiful but it should come with a warning. It grew up into my library all along the skirting board, even after I had dug up the original plant it kept appearing. I have dug a trench and removed every bit and had the wall sealed and new skirting board but I spotted a new bit growing in the garden. It has magic powers.

  12. Cathy says:

    Lovely to see all these poppies, Chloris – I shall definitely have to add more here after reading about yours and seeing the gorgeous pictures!

  13. fredgardener says:

    Very nice introduction of poppies Chloris and what a choice!
    I don’t have as many but 2 or 3 other varieties different from yours. They are blooming right now and my last one is coming soon. Everything has an end….

  14. Frog says:

    Poppies seem to be doing really well this year ! My oriental poppy, which was bought as Princess Victoria Louise but turned out orange with ou without a dark blotch, only produces one flower per year. I used to grow the ladybird one, but it hasn’t reappeared this year. Welsh poppies and Californian poppies are here though to make up for it. Your horned sea poppy is very beautiful, as are the others. Thank you for sharing !

  15. Your poppies are to die for, particularly those dusky shades.

  16. Cathy says:

    I really like the Glaucium corniculatum and assume it likes a dry warm spot if it is on your ‘beach’… The prickly white is also very striking. I might try and find some seed. 🙂 We have lots of orangey red Oriental poppies in the rockery and they do sometimes bloom twice if I cut them down. I am growing an Iceland poppy for the first time this year and am a little disappointed with its floppy untidy leaves, but the flowers are lovely.

  17. Eliza Waters says:

    Beautiful variety of poppies, Chloris. There are so many, aren’t there? Your near-black opium ones have me drooling with envy!

  18. tonytomeo says:

    Those are RAD . . . . but, no California poppy?!

  19. homeslip says:

    Love P. Cedric Morris and thank goodness for two foot tall poppies that stand straight, I always found Patty’s Plum too floppy. Last October I snipped a couple of opium poppy seedheads from a local garden that I had marked as being the colour of blackcurrant sorbet. They have come through true to colour and are looking great in my cutting border with cotinus, Sweet Williams, lunaria (from seed last year) and Hosta Blue Mouse Ears.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, I never have to stake The Beauty of Livermere but the other orientals all flop about unless they are staked but then so do peonies but I wouldn’t be without them. Opium poppies come in delicious colours but you have to be ruthless in getting rid of wishy washy ones.

  20. Delicious Poppies, especially ‘Beauty of Livermere’. Just got back from a trip to Denver, where the gardens had poppies galore. They are long gone in Chicago.

  21. cavershamjj says:

    I think dirty knickers is my favourite. I have a forest of Lauren’s Grape about to flower, all from one seed head scattered liberally last year.

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