A couple years ago, I visited a friend and was amazed at the gorgeous swath of poppies she had along one side of her house. I asked her how she had managed to get so many and she said she had just scattered some random seed there earlier in the spring because she was in a hurry and didn’t want to think about where to put them. That came as a huge surprise, since it can be so difficult to start fancy poppies from seed or even from live plants bought at the garden center. To see dozens of plants just going wild, I couldn’t even imagine.
So I decided to follow her advice and just let the Finnish summer take care of things. I went as far as to create a narrow flower bed next to my vegetables, figuring it could be a cutting garden. Then I scattered three small packets of different poppy varieties (a big oriental, some assorted shirleys, a smaller oriental mix) over it and that was that. I let the rain take care of the watering and never touched them after laying out the beds (with plenty of rabbit manure as the foundation, so maybe that’s why they turned into ginormous monster plants). Turns out that she was not only right, but should have perhaps mentioned to use the seeds with a light hand. Because practically every seed from the three packets I planted seemed to germinate. They then proceeded to grow… and grow… and grow… they now are occupying half the vegetable garden, as far as I can tell. Not that I’ve really done much there since planting. Trying to garden with a tiny person in tow is always a gamble, so I was pretty happy with getting that far this year. Progress comes in small steps.
Next year, I might even get a chance to harvest my vegetables o.O This year, at least, I got a spectacular summer show of poppies, poppies and more poppies. They are gorgeous and I have never been more delighted with a garden gone wild. In fact, I will probably acquire several more varieties and just free seed another patch that I am in the middle of replanting. I haven’t tried cutting them yet since they are short-lived in the vase and require some treatment before being put in the water, but they are right outside my kitchen window so I can stare at them as long as I want 🙂