Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: 'The Floozy'
I have a late season surprise from the garden for this month's Blooms Day. I'm calling her 'The Floozy' because she's flaunting her frilly knickers in the heart of her bloom and also because I've no idea where she's come from.
Poppies have a great way of scattering their seeds by launching them through the top of their seed pods whenever the wind blows, but I haven't seen any in my neighbours' gardens, so I don't think this is the source of my welcome visitor.
Nor have they come from the prolific poppies I showed you a couple of years ago from the main road nearby. Those were Papaver rhoeas aka common or corn poppy. This is a completely different species, Papaver somniferum aka the opium aka breadseed poppy.
Poppy seeds can last for decades and spring forth again when the soil is disturbed, so perhaps this is the source of my surprise? Possibly, though seeing the land here was a farmer's field previously, it's unlikely. Besides, this is a floozy from a cultivated source rather than our farmland poppy.
I'm placing my bets on Bill and Ben being the source. They're a friend's beloved shetland ponies, who've generously fed my garden this year with a mulch of their well-rotted bedding and poo. I must ask Sally if she grows poppies in her garden and if Bill and Ben had a naughty munch or two sometime.
Though of course, there's always the possibility of the birds...
Each flower only lasts a few days at the most, but they give value for much longer. First is the appearance of the buds, curled over in their initial shyness before developing into a fat boldness. At this stage, they're a mystery flower: many can unfurl into a disappointment, but not so with my floozy. It looks like she's a cross between the simpler forms of this poppy and the over the top gorgeousness of the peony ones. I love how she's brightened the gloom of all the rainy days we've had this month.
The seed heads are attractive too and last for many weeks. I hope there's still enough time for my late season bloomer to mature so she can spread herself about a bit. Her offspring will be variable, but I'm sure there'll be some worth keeping.
Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.