Blue meconopsis (Meconopsis grandis) are a challenge to grow and many gardeners are tempted to give it a go once they have seen them growing healthily. Their delicate almost see-through petals look too thin to survive the slightest whiff of wind or a drop of rain landing on them. Within their blue purity are slight hints and veins of red seen only when the light from the sun falls on them. In contrast to their blue petals golden centres and stigma grace the centre of each bloom.
To grow successfully the gardener must provide the exact conditions this poppy demands. Unfortunately our garden doesn’t have the right conditions at the moment, but we are working on it, so I took these pics at the RHS Malvern Spring Gardening Show.
Just as beautiful but very easy to grow are the yellow Welsh Poppies, Meconopsis cambrica. They self seed throughout our garden and we enjoy them appearing just where they choose to do so in May each year. Their yellow petals also display hints and veins of red when the sunlight falls on them. They too are almost transparent and look too delicate to survive everything the British weather subjects them to.
When they self seed they select their partners in the borders with care looking good wherever they land up. I wandered around our garden one sunny May day to see where they had chosen to appear this year. Although it is the most prolific self-seeder in our garden there is no way it can be called a weed, for if a weed is a plant in the wrong place, the Welsh Poppy always lands in the right place.
Where the blue poppy enjoys shade, its yellow Welsh relative opens out its flowers spreading the petals wide when the sun comes out but as evening falls they close back up to hide from the darkness. These delicately petalled poppies come in all shades of yellow from the palest lemon to almost orange, with one of the prettiest being the yellow with a slim fringe of orange.
While in the garden shooting pics for this post I couldn’t resist the temptation to include this exquisite double orange flowered beauty, which although a poppy is not a Meconopsis, but a papaver. Papaver rupifragum which I grew from seed eight years ago and they continue to appear each year.
And while photographing these I spied through the corner of my eye the first plant of our native red poppy to be flowering. It looks equally good in bud, flower or seedpod. This poppy is known botanically as Papaver rhoeas, but seems to collect common names including Field Poppy, Corn Poppy and Flanders Poppy.
The wonderful Welsh Poppy greets us each morning as we enter the garden through the stable door. What a cheerful way for the garden to say welcome us!