Tag Archives | poppies

Icelandic Poppies

I cannot let May come to an end without
a blog about my favourite flower of the month, the enigmatic
Icelandic Poppy. A flower that looks so delicate and ethereal that
any kind of vase life seems a far-fetched notion. Unlike other
members of its family, they can give you 5 -7 days of breathtaking
beauty in a vase.



They also have a good 6 week flowering
period if you keep on top of the picking.



 Once they have finished flowering, collect the seed and sow it fresh, sometime next month is ideal. This
will give you much better germination rates than buying it in, which
of course you will have to do initially.

I recommend Chiltern Seeds for a good
range of varieties of Papaver nudicaule. My favourites are 'Meadow
Pastels' for soft, muted shades of apricot, coral, cream and lemon –
great for weddings.




If you want a bit more punch then
'Champagne Bubbles' fits the bill, with the most beautiful shade of
orange, salmon pink, daffodil yellow and white.



 Pick the flowers just as they are
opening and sear the ends in boiling water for 20 seconds.




I will be saving the seed off these next month and selling it fresh at our Saturday shop.





Promising Peonies and Poppies

My ranunculus have been cooking in the oven of our polytunnel but whilst mourning their demise I have been considering the alternatives for our May weddings and 'ready to launch' mail order service. Fortunately the peonies and poppies are showing a lot of promise.

In fact I am amazed at the number of buds on my peonies which are only two years old, I have four varieties to choose from: Kansas, Festiva Maxima, Duchess de Nemours and Sarah Bernhardt. They have obviously enjoyed the cold winter and warm spring, so fingers crossed. I will pick them at the 'marshmallow stage' and combine them with my sweet peas, hesperis and mint for beautifully scented arrangements and bouquets.



Now the poppies: Icelandic 'Meadow Pastels' …they are dreamy in lemons, apricots and creams. I can't believe how long they last in the vase, their petals look so delicate and tissue-like but even unseared I have had a good five days in this hot weather.


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Other flowers making an early apearance this year by a good three weeks include cornflowers, alliums, nigella, iris and delphiniums.


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All we need now is some gentle rain for about a week to water in all the recent plantings and encourage nice long stems.