Wednesday, 17 June 2009

True Blues


When my mother describes someone as "a bit above themself"she means someone is pretending to be something that they're not. Similarly while the blue rose, the blue tulip, and the blue daffodil have something of the Hyacinth Bouquet about them, the blue poppy is an entirely different kettle of fish. The blue is the colour of a clear blue sky, not unlike the Heavenly Blue of the Morning Glory vine, of which I have a few coming along in the greenhouse for later in the summer. Its true blue colour is probably related to the fact that it's not actually a poppy at all, and so is not a red flower trying on an unsuitable blue frock, ie it's not a member of the Papaver family, but is a Meconopsis.

The picture is of one of my Blue Poppies, which are quite
special to us, as our business is called Blue Poppy Art, (although if we'd known how pernickety they are to grow we might have chosen something easier, Dandelion Art though, doesn't have quite the same ring... )
Anyway, there are two well known members of the meconopsis family , our own Blue Poppy -Meconopsis Betonicifolia,and the little yellow welsh poppy Meconopsis Cambrica, which turns up in the oddest of places, seeding itself about, much like a proper poppy in fact. The Blue Poppy although lovely in flower, like many poppies it grows on a less than lovely plant, - mine look like rather hairy grey-green stalks with a series of flower buds at the top which open in succession. They have a deserved reputation for being short lived, even though they are perennial, and the trick I think, is to ensure that you don't let the plant set seed. If it does, it seems to think its allotted time is up and promptly turns up its toes. So just enjoy the flowers and nip them off as they fade. And since I saw plants for sale at Dobbies the other day for £10 each it certainly seems worth trying to extend their earthly spell for as long as possible.

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