Day 171: opium poppy

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year


The breadseed or opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) – a prodigious self seeder, invariably sticking itself in the most inappropriate positions, such as slap bang in the front of the border right up against the edge, with barely an acknowledgement of the niceties of balance or rhythm or any other aesthetic consideration that you might have hoped your planting would display. But you’d have to be a complete misery guts to prevent it from having its moment, and only a fool would deny themselves the pleasure of watching the silken flowers ruffle in the breeze, or the sun’s shadow play through the translucent petals. And, really – how long must they be endured? A month, six weeks at most, then they’re gone to seed and you can hoik them out. At which point, balance restored, you feel somehow a little bereft.

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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, writer, photographer, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking this image.