Tag Archives: flowers

The Confession

I think I have a problem. I love my garden, but I love poppies even more. So, in my raised beds meant to grow vegetables, most poppies popping up are allowed to stay.

I’ve had to remove a few of the common red ones that want to take over the whole yard, but when I come to a pure white one, I just can’t yank it out. It would be sacrilege,

especially when the whole family of puritans lies down in submission.

Here is my confession:

A few years ago, when I was sitting in the truck one day waiting for the Captain to do some business in a shop, I noticed some pretty poppies in a flowerbox under the store window. Some of them had gone to seed, so I snapped off a couple of the seed pods and put them in my pocket. I felt a stab of guilt, but the seeds would have fallen, mostly on the driveway, and been lost anyway.

I planted those seeds at home and here is one of the progeny of the flowerbox poppies. The wild hairdo is unmistakable.

But wait! The story isn’t over.

In the grocery store one day, I saw the lady who owned the shop with the flowerbox window. She’s a lovely lady in her 80s, and I felt a twinge of guilt about having snapped up some of her poppy seeds. I approached her and told her that I had admired her poppies by her shop window last year.

“Oh you can take some of the seeds, if you like. Help yourself!” she said.

My face went a deeper shade of red as I cleared my throat. “Well, that’s just it. I did … last year … and the babies are growing in my yard right now. I just wanted to thank you and tell you how much they mean to me.”

“You’re very welcome,” she said. “They’re nice aren’t they? Take all the seeds you want.”

The lady has since retired and the flowerbox is neglected, but I always think of her when her pink poppies with the wild hairdo bloom.

Poppies Pop Up

The purple poppy from the last poppy post has cousins that have variations in colour and markings.

The common red field poppy also has cousins of many variations. This one (below) has extra petals that give it a fluffier look.

A pale friend peeps out from the undergrowth, surrounded by buds of its red relatives.

A pale pink friend looks to be a cross between the white and red.

One of my favourite oddballs is this fluffy white one.

The Oriental poppy below was given to me by my neighbour and friend, Alice, many years before she died too young. I treasure this plant. It is a perennial, and unlike other kinds of poppies, will come up from its roots in the spring. I have divided it to grow in several parts of the yard. I think of my friend every time I see these poppies. Even when the first leaves pop out of the ground in the spring, I greet her with, “Hello, Alice.”

Here is a close up of one of Alice’s poppies.

My garden is a mess of poppies and a few other flowers. I just don’t have the heart to pull them out to make room for extra vegetables. They’re very spoiled and are allowed to grow wherever they want.

 

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The One True Poppy ?

I am the one true poppy

The one in Flanders’ fields.

Surrounded here by “wannabe”s

At last my patience yields.

I’m falling prey to apoppyplexy.

Helpless as I am,

Rooted in the ground like this

I’m truly in a jam.

But look at my frustration

The lesser poppies bloom

And I am forced to bear their smirks

While I am filled with gloom.

You see that Missy Paleface

Deceitful all in white?

And what about Pink Poodle?

Her hairdo is a fright.

The crackpots growing opium

Are gossiping again.

Do they not know their sticky juice

Is going to fry their brain?

The bugs may crawl upon my face

My pollen’s falling down,

But I’m the only real one here

And I should wear the crown.

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Pink Poodle

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Miss Paleface

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Crackpots

 

 

Poppies

For years, I mistakenly thought that this is the kind of poppy that you get opium from. But I was wrong.

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The kinds and varieties of poppies are numerous.

I’ve been growing poppies for years, but only because they’re such pretty flowers. Seems I could have kept myself painfree for years now, if I had harvested the sticky latex-like goo that runs out of the seed pods if you score them. I have no interest in going to a lot of trouble to make a tiny smidgeon of opium. I have Advil in my medicine cabinet and that will do for small aches and pains.

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What surprised me is that opium (and then, morphine) is made from many different kinds of poppies. This delicate flower hardly looks capable of producing opium. Such an innocent!019

I have a feeling that these types, with the feathery leaves, are not used for that kind of harvest anyway.

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But now we’re getting into the right kind.

012These purple poppies are the kind you see in opium fields. I grew them because I love the colour. I had no idea I could have started a lucrative business.
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Below you’ll see the same kind but they have a tinge of red.

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Then we have the extra special ones that have many more petals than the usual poppies. Looks like a peony and I think that’s its common name (peony poppy).

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This pink one (below) came from a store in town. I suppose it’s been kidnapped, in a way. I was waiting for the Captain to finish some business while I waited outside the store. Right beside me a window box of poppies with beautiful pink double (quadruple) petals decorated the storefront. One finished bloom sported a dried up seed pod. I snapped off the pod and put it in my pocket. It looked like it should be free for the taking. I felt a twinge of guilt, but reasoned that if the owner had been there she would have said, “Of course. Go ahead.” I treasured that seed pod for months until it was time to plant the seeds the next spring. What you see below is the second generation of my “stolen” seeds. I silently thank the lady at the store whenever I see her progeny in bloom.

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And last of all,  a Eurasian collared dove visits a non-opium poppy. She’s eating corn from under the birdfeeder. She’s not too interested in those orange poppies that somehow made it all the way up here from California just to grow wild in my yard.025a

So if you ever have an “owie” just come on over and I’ll mix you up a potion from those purple poppies to take your pain away.

Warning: It may take a while to make up, and there is no guarantee of the potency or lack of it.

On second thought, maybe a Band-aid and a glass of wine would be a better idea.

Dawn – What a beautiful name

I had to get up at 4:45 or so because Emma said so. I could have stayed in bed and then cleaned up the mess that one distressed puppy would make, but it wouldn’t be fair to either of us. Just look at the beautiful dawn I might have missed.??????????

 

I’d heard from my neighbour that there was a cougar in the area. Nice of him to warn me because of having the new puppy. I know hungry cougars like to snack on small family pets. It made me reluctant to get out there at their favourite hunting time, but right now Emma is calling the shots. And look at the rainbow I would have missed. It was a complete arc in the sky but I could only get part of it into the picture, it was that big. Faint but big!

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My sister-in-law’s name is Dawn. Today I thought her name was more beautiful than ever before. She suits her name.

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My reward for getting up so early was to see the golden light on the firs. At dawn and dusk I can see this view, but at dusk the sunlight is warmer, more golden. There must be a scientific reason for that, but I don’t know what it is.

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Now it was getting light enough to see my garden that I’ve had to let go to weeds this year. I’m blaming Emma, the all-demanding puppy.

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As I went back into the house, climbing Queen Elizabeth greeted me and told me what a cheery day it will be.

??????????I hope it was a good one for you too.

 

Goodbye Sweet Rose

Pervasive gray tones have settled over the whole town. Even the evergreens in my backyard seem to be evergrays today. I love sunshine and blue skies, but I’m too stubborn to let the fog of general grayness seep into my mind and take over my mood. Every day is too precious to throw away that easily. I stepped onto my back deck and perked up when I saw that the rosebushes I had neglected to cut back until now were waving a last goodbye to me. I know that more gray days are sure to come. I had to capture the moment so I could savour the blooms later on when no flowers would be left in the yard  to cheer me up.  These last roses will now live on my blog and in my computer until spring brings on the next cheery flowers.

It’s not that long until Christmas, but I need to say one last fond farewell to my roses of summer.

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Goodbye, Queen Elizabeth!

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Goodbye, Royal Sunset!

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See you in the spring!