Me poppies

Although the orange poppy is my out and out favourite, I'm really enjoying the flanders poppies this year. It's not as great a display as some years.We had a great display in 2002, possibly because I didn't get around to pulling any out. I remember we went away in late November and a friend who was minding our house painted spectacular drifts of them, immersing herself in all their glory. This year I was on to them early, because if I leave them I can't pull them out when they flower and we end up with no vegie patch. My approach these days is to leave a few clumps here and there in the flower garden and in the section that will be planted with vegies in late spring, early summer. I suppose I could pull them out before they go to seed, but where the fun be in that.

They were originally called corn or field poppies because they grew in fields of cereal crops and on disturbed ground. After world war one they were seen to be one of the first flowers growing in the aftermath of the devastion. Seeds that had been dormant for years came to light and flourished where they hadn't been seen for many years. Given the similarity between the colour of the poppies and the colour of blood, poetry and ritual were born from that moment. And flanders poppies have become an unmistakable symbol of remembrance. I'm not one to celebrate war in any way, and the modern Anzac day of gives me the creeps, but poppies for remembrance seems quite right to me.

I'm surprised that they're not classified as a weed though. From what I've read on the web, they've naturalised through parts of the US and you often see them growing wild by the side of the road here too. I bought a punnet of them about seven years ago and have been pulling seedlings out of my garden ever since. I would imagine that if you let them get beyond a certain point, they could get right out control.

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