Everybody in the northern hemisphere seems to be talking autumn – and with good reason: the nights are drawing in, the garden looks shaggy, and it now consists mostly of seedheads interspersed with just a few bright sparks of colour.But before we give into autumn gracefully (and yes, it is very tempting – there is so much about autumn that I love), I want to look back on the poppies we have grown at Seaview this summer because they have been – as ever – a delight.
When we came here in late 2010, there was no garden so we had to dig all the flowerbeds (you can read about our gardening travails here). And that first summer, we filled the newly-dug flowerbeds with poppy and cornflower seeds.An explosive riot of colour!Complemented with heady nights …And strange days of misty beauty …So those are the parent plants of the seedlings we have had all over our garden this summer. Seedlings spilling out into the lane …Some brave little souls here …In the compost heap …Growing beside the garden benches …And through them …They’ve tried to take over the vegetable patch …There were so many poppy seedlings in the veg patch earlier this year that I dug them up and moved them to a communal part of our Seaview holdings. There they have really blossomed.Each year, we add a couple of new packets of poppies. Last year we sowed Ladybird poppy seeds, and they have seeded new generations.This year we added Papaver rhoeas “Mother of Pearl – not a lot of them grew, but those that did were a delight (for us as well as the hover flies).There’s this gorgeous red version too.However, it was definitely Papaver somniferum “Black Single” that stole the show this year.What pleased me particularly was the spectrum of colours these seeds produced. Not just that heady purple-black, but softer dark pinks too.Some frilled white centres, and some frilled black.And when their petals fell into the cat water, it turned a deep dark brown – perhaps worth doing some dye tests with this next year …I love the mix of colours, of varieties as the self-seeding takes over …Rosy pinks here …Candyfloss whites, edged with delicate pink …You never know how each poppy bud is going to develop … will it be fancy frilled …Or just plain very frilly indeed …A glorious mix of colours here!And just as we come to the end of the season, the poppies’ demise hastened by hot feisty winds …A last few Californian poppies start to bloom.Time now to draw in, to make lists, and study seed catalogues: to make plans for next year!