Poppies will make them confused.

I’ve been gardening, barefoot, this morning. It is the most wonderful feeling in the world. Cold, dewy grass underfoot. Warm face in the sun, and from two gardens down, a blackthorn, which is a great white mound of blossom, throws a constant fluttering stream of confetti down through the blue air.

Something very unexpected has happened with my Oriental poppies. I bought a few white plants and (what were supposed to be) a few pink ones when I first set up the top bed, years ago. One of the pink ones turned out to be bright orange/red, and I kept meaning to dig it out and ditch it, but never had the heart to. When I created the sunny-side top bed (also years ago), I transplanted the white ones into it, and one died – they’re not great about being transplanted. And that was that – the original plants I’d bought soldiered on, and I never had as much as a single self-seeded poppy plant appear anywhere. Until I dug up the lot last year, when the hard landscaping was done in the garden. All but one of the original plants were destroyed. I sort of resigned myself to it, grumpily. Then, in the autumn, a few obvious poppy seedlings appeared where the white ones had been. I carefully put them into sensible bits of the garden and thought nothing of it. But I must now have a hundred poppy seedlings, stretching from the steps onto the lawn, right ’round to the far end of the sunny bed.

It’s brilliant. but it’s also slightly baffling. Why did none EVER germinate before? It’s not that the soil was never disturbed. I hoe and fork as much as the next girl.

Pink with bee

Photo taken by me in my garden a couple of years ago.

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About chiller

Rachel Coldbreath spent 20 years working internationally as a technical specialist on large data collections for law firms, before becoming disabled. She blogs on a variety of topics from the news and politics to gardening and how very annoying it is, being disabled. Habits include drilling holes about 1mm away from where they ought to be, and embarking with great enthusiasm on tasks for which she is neither physically nor intellectually equipped.
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