Previous Capers

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Invasion of the Poppy Hatchers

A sea of red in the parking strip.
We've been invaded! Not by the typical bugs or weeds but by poppies and not the typical California kind. Red and purple poppies have sprung up all over the front yard, seemingly out of nowhere. The red ones have flowers that look like a type of Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale) and the purple ones are of the medicinal type (Papaver somniferum). Granted we had purple poppies in one tiny corner of our lavender beds last year (that also magically materialized). They really haven't been too proliferous this year but the red ones are everywhere! We can hardly see our blueberry bushes in the parking strip and these interlopers have shaded out the rhubarb.

What's interesting is that they have not invaded anyone else's yard around us. Maybe some prankster committed a guerilla gardening act for kicks and giggles. We have a lot of admirers in the area that like to walk by to see what's up in the yard. In fact, I was snipping and giving away poppy heads to anyone interested that came by.

Purple Papaver somniferum
I like poppies, so I see this invasion as a plus even though they can look messy over time. The red ones are flopping over. The purple flowers of the medicinal variety don't last too long, but they are lovely. Seductively so.

I'll be out there judiciously cutting off seed heads so they don't go nuts again next year. I want to control next year's crop. Poppy seeds, anyone?

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