Although I loved the pictures that appeared in the books, I must have been in England for 12 years before I saw the real thing in the flesh. They only appear in uncultivated fields or in the margins on the side of country roads and, until that summer, I'd pretty much always lived and worked in the city. Then, one June, I spotted something orange at the side of the road and realised it was a poppy!
A month ago, when I was driving home from Site, I was treated to the tripple bill of poppies on the side of the road and wild roses growing through hedges rich in elderflowers. Unfortunately, it was tipping it down with rain and I kept missing the best parking places from which to take photos. Eventually, I gave up.
Two weeks later, I was back at Site and, on the way home, I tried again. It was too late in the season for the roses and the elderflowers, but I managed to find some late poppies.
Aren't they pretty?
When I sort out our garden for good (as opposed to the annual temporary measures), poppies are one of the plants that are definitely going in.