Purple Gleam Poppies

Shy and delicate, the first poppies to bloom in my garden are the California poppies. Why do I call them shy? The poppies open when the sun shines and close when clouds darken the sky.

The California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) 'Purple Gleam' is a mix of either rose or lavender—great colors for my cottage garden. Currently, only a few of the poppies are in bloom so I am looking forward to the larger display to come.

The poppies are planted with salvia greggii, alliums and dianthus for simultaneous bloom in the pink to purple color range.

The lacy California poppy foliage resembles a soft fern and is less than one foot high. The poppies don't fall over in the garden and do well in dry soil. I like the foliage better than varieties such as peony poppies (Papaver paeoniflorum). The California poppies are much shorter and take up less space.

The seeds were sown in late November 2009, so this is the first year for these poppies in my garden. I hope they do what poppies are supposed to do and reseed in the garden. I'd like an increase in the display for next spring!

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel.


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