Yesterday the flowers in my garden appeared to be in a competition to out bloom each other. Irises, peonies and poppies dominated the flowerbed alongside my driveway.
After years of apartment living, I moved into my house in 1986 and discovered a passion for gardening. I’d admired vibrant, showy poppies in other people’s flowerbeds but despite my efforts to grow them from seed I never had any luck.
A few years ago I was visiting my step-daughter and admiring her poppies, in full bloom by the front porch. Upon closer inspection of the green base of the plants I realized that I had been growing poppies every year – and pulling them out as they looked like big prickly weeds. The poor things had never had a chance.
Armed with knowledge (and a lack of patience) I dispensed with the idea of starting them from seeds that summer and headed to my local nursery. I bought the three colors shown below – red, pink and peach and they have been exceptional every year. There is something both bold and delicate about them and for sure there is a “pop” of color from these tall beauties gracing my gardens.
That same day I purchased Alpine Poppies. Tiny and delicate, this petite poppy is also incredibly durable and it’s tiny seeds must scatter everywhere evidenced by the number of them that have sprung up in between pavers and patio bricks, sidewalk cracks and along my fence. They even survived, in fact thrived, when our driveway was paved last year. My rule – if it’s a flower, let it bloom regardless of where it pops up.
In Michigan, we’ve had summer like temps but little to no rain. As a result, the garden is growing quickly, everyday yielding new blooms. This morning I was thrilled to see even more blooms in the garden, including my Dwarf Korean Lilac.
Much to my surprise, under the lilac bush, I found two of the feral kittens born about seven weeks ago on our porch. I imagine that the fragrance of the lilacs is relaxing for them.
Lots of shades of purple and yellow abound.
As I strolled around this morning, I found several “volunteers” that I didn’t plant but am happy to see all the same. My rule is, if it’s growing in a crack but it’s a flower, vegetable or herb – leave it be!
Each year it’s the same. I go from no poppies to one poppy to tons of poppies.
Thinking back to my early gardening days, I would purchase and plant packets of poppy seeds. Never got a poppy; discouraged I came to believe I just didn’t have “the touch”.
Then a few years back I was at my stepdaughter’s home, admiring her beautiful poppies. And I looked down. “OMG” I thought. I’d seen that foliage in my garden. And pulled it out thinking it was weeds. Every year.
Needless to say, I learned a valuable lesson and have grown poppies with great success, year after year ever since.