Sunday, January 7, 2018

Shirley poppies


I don't live in the North but it sure feels like I do right now. Thankfully today was the last really cold day. Last night temps dipped down below 5 degrees F. It's like living in Pennsylvania again. The power flickered on and off all morning as the grid strained to supply everyone with power. We got a little snow on Wednesday, about 1/2", although Southern Pines (about an hour south and west of here, in the Sandhills), got 6".

The cold has curtailed most garden activities, which in winter consist of cutting back the honeysuckle, jessamine, greenbriar, and grape vines that grew up in the roses over the summer and potting up 'Miss Bessie' divisions to go in the field up top.

The prairie roses in particular are a mess. There is a lot of honeysuckle, jessamine, blackberry canes and young sumac trees in the roses and a lot of deadwood under the live canes. Winter is the best time for this type of work because it's no fun doing it in short sleeves and leggings. Nevertheless, I usually have to do some cleanup before the roses bloom in June because honeysuckle grows a quite a bit even during the winter months and then of course really takes off in the spring.


After the weather warms up tomorrow I'm going to put out some poppy seeds. I forgot to order them this fall, and usually put them out at intervals over the fall and winter because you never know when conditions will be right for them to get started. I ordered a few packets of 'Angels Choir', a selection of doubles, and 'Mother of Pearl', a collection of singles and semi doubles. Both have shades of peach, soft orange, coral pink, rose pink, lavender, gray, gray pink and white with bicolors and picotees. (Picotee refers to a flower with light-colored petals edged with a darker color.) There's also a few single reds, the poppy's wild type.

After a gap of many years I've had poppies in the garden the last 2 years and thoroughly enjoyed them. These bloomed last May.



They make good companions to beardtongue and Carolina bush pea.




















12 comments:

  1. They're lovely flowers. Coincidentally, while weeding through old seed packets yesterday, I found a packet of 'Angel's Choir' seeds in my own collection. While they're past their prime, I'm planning to scatter them in advance of the rain forecasters have promised us is coming this week. The forecasters have misled us so many times, I still don't entirely believe it but my fingers are crossed anyway...

    I hope your weather does indeed improve and allows you the opportunity to get back to the pruning and dividing. I can't even conceive of temperatures of 5F!

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  2. Wow!!! These are beautiful and your gardens are blessed to have these growing in them. I love them all. You've helped inspire me to get out in my gardens while the weather is oh so comfortable to work in. Summer will be here all too soon.

    Have a wonderful 2018 dear one ~ FlowerLady

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  3. Wonderful all these poppies growing and blooming in yourg garden. I have not sown them for a few years, this brings me on the idea to buy some packets of seed.

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  4. What a treat to see these spring delights in the midst of a gloomy, cold winter! I love poppies, but I haven't had much luck other than with the red ones. The seeds originally came from a friend, and now I collect them each fall and then scatter them over the snow in late February. You've inspired me to order some seeds now; I especially like the bi-colored ones. Hope it has warmed up for you; we're in the midst of a "heat wave"--in the 50's--but back to winter tomorrow.

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  5. Interesting that you sow seeds at different times, that seems like a really great way to go. I've had trouble in the past getting good germination with poppies, perhaps I should try this way.

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  6. Those poppies are beautiful. I am always buying seeds and then forgetting about them until they've died of old age!

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  7. I'm thinking poppies may be even more photogenic than roses. I used to have lots in the garden and depended on them to self seed, but there haven't been so many lately so your idea of topping up regularly with seeds is a good one.

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  8. Your poppies are lovely! I haven't had much success in growing them lately, but am hoping to try again this year. And it must be wonderful to get out and work in your garden in January! :)

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  9. Your photos are fabulous. Have never grown poppies here, but your photos have inspired me to get out and plant some seeds. I won't know unless I try!

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  10. The Shirley poppies are wonderful, especially the red ones. I also love that blue beardtongue, I just grow the smooth penstemon, which is white to pale pink.

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  11. You have made me want to go out and fling poppy seeds every place. What a lift to the snow packed spirits these photos have brought me. Happy GBBD.

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  12. You have a beautiful spot there and have created a wonderful garden. The different shades of the poppies are amazing and I'm going to have to see if there are a few seeds sitting around here since I gave up on them a few years ago. It's time I tried again!
    Thanks for the comment on my blog, it lead me to yours and I really love what you've done there in NC. Your roses and azaleas are fantastic and I can imagine the fragrance when they're in bloom!
    Frank

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