wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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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.


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Colour Changes in Poppies

My favourite poppies were always these purple ones. I have no idea why, but maybe because they were so different from all the others. Even the leaves are different.  A few years ago when my first purple poppies grew, I  only saw purple ones. Then one year there were some reddish-purple ones. Some kind of hanky-panky going on.

Then we had one of that purple sort, come out very red. By the way, if you click to enlarge this photo, below, you will see the little beetles that are eating its petals.

Here are some of these reddish ones in a group. Notice the powdery mint green leaves that differentiate them from the field poppies.

Speaking of the regular field poppies, they are usually red, but there are variations. This one has a purplish center.

The one below has a red center.

Here they are camping out together.

At last, here is my special find of the day. This is one of the purple variations (those of the minty leaves), but not only is it red, with a dark center, but it has ragged petals. These petals were not ravaged by wind or some animal eating them, but that is their natural look. Kind of like a kid with messy hair, but oh, so cute.

Every  day when I water my garden I accidentally blow a few flowers off their stems. I hope that the next day they will be replaced by new flowers. I encourage this by dead-heading the seed pods in the early part of the season.

I wonder what will be out there tomorrow.


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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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Volunteers

My garden had a lot of volunteers this year, especially the poppies. So many stuck their heads up when I called for help in the jungle of my garden, that I couldn’t decide which ones to choose and which to deny. Here are two,  the first of many that I hope to post as time goes on.

I’m royal purple says the queen,

Most regal that you’ve ever seen.

I come from tall and stately stock,

My “white and purple” says I rock.

 

I’m one of those from Flanders’ Fields

Remembered well, my power shields

The fallen from forgotten sleep

As every year, I watch do keep.


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Wild and Crazy

 

Spring didn’t really happen this year. It was winter right up until nearly summer. I’m way behind in my weeding, but the poppies are telling me, “Don’t worry. We’ll put on a show to distract any critical eyes.”

“Order, Order!” shouts the judge.

“Bring this yard to order, please.”

But the gardener’s brain is sludge,

Toes and fingers start to freeze.

 

Weeds are shouting everywhere,

“We’re part of winter’s doom and gloom.

Come and pull us if you dare.

But wait, what’s this? The poppies bloom?”

 

Poppies growing where they like,

Squeezing into any place.

What a pretty pose they strike,

Wild and crazy wins the race.