Saturday, March 02, 2013

Poppy time!

Our garden is PACKED right now! We like to pretend spring starts a little earlier than it actually does here at Johnnye Merles!

Among the many many amazing plants we have in stock right now (click here, and here and here for more!) are the great selection of poppies grown by Annie's Annuals and Perennials that we just brought in!

We have two types of poppies in right now: the Papaver selection, known for their 'totally out of control' (in a good way!) blooms and long associated with cottage gardens, as well as Eschscholzia californica, a member of the Papaveraceae family and native to the southwest United States and Mexico (and California's state flower!). The blooms on eschscholzias aren't as dramatic as the papavers, per say, but they are PROLIFIC bloomers and perennials, sticking around year after year.

 Papavers are easy to grow: they like rich soil, and moderate water. A plant with a long history - examples have been found in Egyptian tombs! - it is technically an annual, but if you let them go to seed, which means leaving them looking a little 'dead' in your garden after their blooms are done, they will reseed and eventually naturalize to become a regular feature of your garden. They take full sun, and the tallest of varieties might need a bit of staking if planted alone  - we find though, that if planted in the mix of other 'supporting' plants, they do just fine. When we say their blooms are traffic stopping, we really aren't making it up - you grow these plants for the unusual, amazing colors and patterns they produce. Their bloom time isn't super long, so there is also a life lesson in enjoying those fleeting moments buried in there.... :)

Eschscholzia are also very to grow, if not even easier. Native to the southwest regions of North America, they were first discovered back in the 1810's by a German biologist who was on a Russian (weird, right?) expedition to California. They are very much so condition to live on minimal water once established, and do just fine in your not so great soil. They make an excellent plant along the edges and borders of your beds, and when in full bloom, are, we have to admit, pretty amazing! They bloom for quite awhile, and self sow - meaning they too will look a little dead, but let 'em be, as they will be coming back around!

Check out the photos below to see what poppies we have in stock right now. They have been selling FAST lately, so get 'em while you can! They are all in 4" containers and priced at just $4 a pop! Get a few and have fun!

We hope to see you soon!

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