U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Who Stole The Show In My Garden?

In my garden this year a Poppy stole the show. The only other year when I had such a prominent display of poppies was 2005.

That's when I took the picture of our pup sniffing poppies which highlights my blog. The poppy seeds were scattered on the perennial bed in 2004, the very first year of my garden. The plants self-seeded, and this is what I got:

The lesson I learned that year: if not thinned, gray mold and root rot start. However, if you thin them too well, there won't be such a mass of color!
These red poppies would seed again, but I pulled out the plants before going on a long trip.
This year, in June, purple oriental poppies screamed for attention.

It might be "Manhattan", but the color on the label is dark-rose.

I also had an Oriental poppy that stopped blooming after I moved it to a different location. It emerges every year, has nice foliage, but no flowers. I'll move it to the previous spot and see if it will thank me for that.
Later, came these watermelon red flowers. These are the seeds I sent to some blotanists together with the foxglove seeds.

These poppies were on My Picture Of The Day " Three Stages Of Life":

I got the seeds for this variety from an Orcas Island gardener.

FYI, Orcas Island is one of the major San-Juan Islands located between Washington and Canada. In 2007, we traveled there and got lucky since it was time for their annual garden tour! I talked to the owner/gardener, and he was kind to send me some seeds!

I like plants with a story behind them. They bring warm and grateful memories of the people who shared part of their gardens with me.
These are some pictures from our Orcas Island garden tour:

Do you know what is this plant with large variegated, almost white, leaves in the center of the picture below?

This is variagated horseradish. I tried to find this plant in nurseries and garden centers, but most of the people have never heard of it. Well, maybe it's good that I didn't find it, since horseradish left undisturbed in the garden spreads via underground shoots and can become invasive.

I love these tall poppies with pink flowers . Aren't they lovely?

Growing poppies, I try to remember the following:

- they don't like to be overwatered;-soil should be well-drained;

- seedlings don't like to be transplanted;

- in severe winters, plants should be protected with mulch in fall;

- plants go dormant in late summer, so markers are useful to avoid disturbing area;

- it is recommended to combine poppies with plants like Gypsophila paniculata to conceal the dying foliage in summer;

- full sun or light shade is preferred;
- the seeds of the poppy have great nutritive value.

I hope the seeds of the plants from Orcas Island will do well in your gardens,

and you can share them with your friends!


  1. Wow - great photos and fantastic poppies! I LOVE poppies!!!! :)

  2. Great, gorgeous poppies-- luv that oriental close-up!

  3. These are gorgeous, Tatyana! I had one lone poppy spring up this summer, and that one almost didn't make it--I thought it was a weed at first:) After reading this post, I thought I would check my box of seeds to check the foxglove seeds you sent me, and sure enough, there were the poppy seeds. I hadn't even noticed that little bag! Thank you so much; I can only hope I have half as good of luck as you in growing these.

  4. What a show of poppies here! I had a few this year for the first time...I plan on planting them again. I scattered the seeds in Dec.

  5. Hi Tatyana~~ The only thing that would keep me from buying the variegated horseradish is an exorbitant price. It spreads, yes, which makes it perfect for a container!!! Unfortunately I've never had the luxury of seeing it for sale. LOVE your poppies. The photo with the artichoke finial is award worthy, just lovely with the green grass. And I'll take 'Manhattan' for sure!

  6. Gorgeous! I wish we could grow poppies here. They are beautiful!

  7. Oh Tatyana, the poppies did steal the show! We have off and on years with them as well, this was an off year. But I covet that horseradish! It would be welcome to spread, those leaves are amazing. I see Grace says it is pricey though, too bad.

  8. Your red poppies are fantastic! I also love the seed heads of poppies. I've sometimes purchased them for dried arrangements. They have so much character.

  9. I have some large annual poppies that are lavender and red and pink in color..single petaled. I also have a red annual that is similar to your peony flowered pink one. I love all the poppies. Tried to grow the white perennial one, didn't make it, but think it was underground forces at work.

  10. Absolutely gorgeous! You are right, they look splendid in mass! What a gorgeous plot of garden you have. A nice haven.

  11. Your poppies are so pretty. I can't wait to see the ones you sent to me grow like that. And the foxglove too. You are so kind to have shared your seed with me. You have some beautiful gardens.

  12. Lovely photos, the Poppies are wonderful, it's always a shame that they never seem to last long enough!

  13. I too wish we could grow poppies here, they are so pretty.

  14. These are one of my favorite flowers, thanks for sharing all these stunning photos and also the growing tips for poppies! And deer don't usually nibble these. YEAH!

  15. You have such a great variety of poppies Tatyana. The purple Manhattan is a gorgeous color and form and your photos are beautiful. Love the seed pods picture! Your garden is so lovely! Carol

  16. We had one really wonderful year with annual poppies also. Since then it's been the perennials. But that one year; breathtaking!

  17. Thank you everyone! My next step would be to try to grow a blue poppy. I heard that it's not easy!

  18. I'm with Nutty Gnome, great post.

  19. Wonderful photos. I love the oriental poppy. I think the seedheads are really pretty too.

  20. These poppies are gorgeous. A blue poppy? Oh, I can't wait to see your pictures of it.

  21. My favorite flower, at least it is one of them. I have had many poppies this summer, and all the neighbors and I are exchanging seeds. Can't wait until we get a bigger garden, think of all the varieties we could grow.

    Your garden looks wonderful, I love the mix of colors. Especially the deep rose colored poppies.


  22. Poppies are great, but here if you have too many people wonder. :) James used to have next door neighbors - they were an elderly Asian couple, and didn't speak English. He said they harvested opium (for personal use only) from their backyard beds, using a thin razor blade to collect the liquid.

  23. Beautiful poppies and such wonderful photos!

  24. Beautiful! Poppies are definitely on my list to grow next spring.

    Thanks so much for leaving such a kind comment on my blog regarding my father-in-laws passing. It was so sweet of you.

  25. Your poppies are so beautiful. The Purple or dark rose one is gorgeous.Oh boy, now the pressure is on to get my watermelon red seeds to grow ;-) It is nice to see what they are suppose to look like and what I will be missing if I mess them up big time ;-)

    Some of the foxgloves are sprouting but I will have to wait until February to sow the poppies.
    Thank you again Tatyana!

    I do not know what the variegated plant is but it is a pretty thing.

  26. Your poppies were wonderful this year! I especially loved the one that may be Manhattan and the watermelon shade is great too! I really need to plant more of these in my garden!

  27. I really need to try to grow poppies again. I had them years ago at my old house. I always think of them as red, but love the purple and watermelon ones that you grow. Fabulous!

  28. Oh, all those poppies are magnificent! But I think my favorite will always be the one with your puppy. :)

    The whole garden is just stunning. I have a friend who plans to grow poppies -- I might have to ask for a few seeds!

  29. Didn't realize poppies could be so pretty. Great captures.
    Love the seed pods...would be great for dried flower arrangement.

  30. Hi's a JOY to come and see your ravishing photos. Even the pods look lovely!


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