I have to admit–as bourgeois as these may seem–that I really fell in love again with simple, carefree California poppies this season. I hauled out half a dozen packets and cast the seeds about my new scree garden with zeal and glee. The colors ranged from buttercream to wild rose and of course the usual party time colors–garish yellows and oranges. Grown from various mixes I’d picked up at some end-of-season sale and stashed for another year, these emblematic poppies bloomed from mid-May through the first hard freeze.
Native throughout the western U.S., these annual to perennial poppies have graced gardens for nearly two centuries. By any measure, they’re harmless weeds, keen to reseed and reinstate themselves with verve even where they shouldn’t grow. I look forward to seeing where mine end up in the next few seasons–gracing forlorn crevices, I hope. The breeding and selection happening in California poppies these days is head-turning–doubles, semi-doubles, plentiful hues. Fortunately too, if you don’t like where they land, they pull out with remarkable ease.
There’s otherwise not much to say today about a plant so familiar and well-known. I’ll let the picture do the talking from here.