GBBD: Papaver Spotlight

Some plants need patience, such as this Papaver orientale 'Beauty of Livermere'. It's its third season here: the first two only yielded a couple of blooms, but this year has seen it really bulk out and begin to perform well in my garden. Each bloom only lasts a few days, but now there are plenty of them queing up to form a succession over the next few weeks. The architectural foliage, almost rude looking buds, plus the seedheads mean the season of interest lasts for much longer than just the flowers.

It's in my sunniest terraced bed and the combination of the light and a single flower like this one is enough to act like a spotlight there without the need for garden lighting. It's just peeping above the wall when I look over from my kitchen window and is in complete contrast to the pink Clematis montana behind it.

The rest of the garden is currently all mauves, blues and pinks where the Alliums, perennial cornflowers and Clematis hold court. I'm so glad I placed my Papaver where it is. I'm beginning to understand why Christopher Lloyd advised Jekka McVicar to include a little red in her exhibits*. It adds excitement to my garden without being overpowering. I'd like to say this was all planned, but the effect is pretty much accidental on my part.

What happy accidents do you have in your garden this Blooms Day?

Garden Bloggers Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

* = another snippet from when I interviewed her. The little bit of red in her gold medal winning exhibit at Malvern this weekend were some delightful wild poppies.


  1. Yep, that is a great poppy. Real guts. Goliath is good as well. Like your point about natural lighting up!

  2. Nothing beats a red poppy for pop in the garden. Fields of them are heavenly. Happy GBBD. Love that poppy photo. Brightened my day.

  3. Beautiful. I love a bit of "pop" in the garden - I came back from Malvern with a couple of geums to fulfil a similar role, albeit for rather longer. Hope I don't get bored of it...

  4. I don't have any happy accidents - so far this season. I'm just glad the things that are supposed to be up - are. I do love that poppy!

  5. Crazy cute poppy...almost looks like a giant ladybug. Matti

  6. Pop and circumstance. Have a great day!

  7. How glorious, and you're so right about adding a little red. Good to meet again at Malvern; do keep in touch.

  8. Beautiful poppy. Now we know why Carol calls her blog 'May Dreams.'

  9. I wish I had some poppy accidents in my beds...CANNOT grow them for some reason...makes me sad...:(

  10. Poppies may be a flash in the pan, but what a flash. The only happy accident I can think of at the moment is some dark magenta-pink Geranium maculatums that planted themselves behind Polemium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven'.

  11. The color on that poppy is amazing. That photo would make a lovely poster. Happy GBBD DAy!

  12. You have a very beautiful poppy here but the color is very different from my 'Beauty of Livermores'... I wonder if it's my computer or are my plants mislabeled!

  13. Hi everyone - glad you like my GBBD choice!

    A warm welcome to all of you who have visited for the first time :)

    Larry - it's the quality of the light in that part of the garden. It brings out the more orangey tones. Yours is probably darker?

  14. Beauty of Livermere is a really strong Post Office red - these look orange, much more like Papaver orientale 'Allegro'. But then red is a really difficult colour to get right with digital photography, so maybe it just looks wrong on the blog piccie?

  15. Nick - depending on the light it does look more red than this and no, the pic is showing the colour as it is when the light shines through the petals. You may be right though, in which case it's a mislabelledicanthus!


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