GARDENING WITH POPPIES

Poppies are brightly-colored flowers, belonging to the botanical family Papaveraceae. There are annual, biennial, and perennial species, but all re-seed themselves prolifically year after year making them particularly easy to grow. There are many easy to grow plants if you take the time to research and learn little. Tillandsias are another easy plant that can grow in open air, more information on these so called air plants can be found here.

Generally, Poppy flowers prefer a dry spot in the garden: they will thrive in poor, sandy soil, or sandwiched between rocks in an alpine-style landscape.

There are hundreds of species of poppy to choose from in the garden. However, there are two genera that truly stand out from the crowd in terms of both ease of care, and visual impact. In a garden center or seed shop, look for plants with the first element of the binomial name listed as either Papaver or Meconopsis. For example, the common European poppy, or Flanders poppy, is called Papaver rhoeas in Latin.

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As far as annual poppies go, giant Oriental poppies have no rivals. Typically of the species Papaver Somniferum, these enormous blossoms have been bred by horticulturalists into an array of stunning flowering forms. So much work has been done with them in gardens, in fact, that they are often simply called common garden poppies. With countless variations in color, number of colors, petal shape, number of petals, and pod size, these are true stand-outs in any garden.

For gardeners of the perennial persuasion, giant Himalayan blue poppies (Meconopsis species) are an appealing addition to to a dry landscape, and are short-lived perennials.

Stunning Poppies All Year

 

Beginning to grow in spring with pale, delicate foliage, poppies contrast already with deeper green plants in the garden.

Mostly blooming in midsummer, they send up dainty flower stalks, bearing delicate blossoms with paper-like petals that burst forth from an eggshell-like bud.

Though the blossoms in their full glory only last a matter of days, they give way to visually-interesting green pods. Instead of falling over, these pods remain erect even under snow cover, and drying to a light brown color.

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Therefore, these annual flowers can make even a snow-blanketed garden look like it has a dried floral arrangement.

In autumn or spring, delicately plucking these seed heads and tipping them over will release the seeds, planting them for next year. The seeds will germinate best after having been outdoors for a cold season, so there is no harm in letting them freeze and thaw with the winter weather.

Just a few poppy plants can quickly turn into an eye catching poppy garden, provided conditions are right. So give it a try, the results are amazing! For more info on gardening with easy to care for plants check out these cool ones called Tillandsias also known as Air Plants!

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