Sunday, 25 July 2010


One of my favourite sights of the English summer is when the poppies appear in the fields.  If you have ever browsed a copy of the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady or the spin-off craft and knitting books, you will be familiar with Edith Holden's water colours of English poppies. 

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.

- Pam


amy said...

I haven't ever seen actual poppies! Thanks for the photos. Poppies always make me think of the poem, though: "In Flanders fields the poppies grow, between the crosses row on row," which I first encountered, in all places, in an Anne of Green Gables book--the one in which Walter dies. Dies!! That probably made WWI more real to me than any history textbook.

Brenda said...

I love the photos. Here's a question for you: are California poppies the same, slightly different, or completely different?


PipneyJane said...

Hi Brenda

To answer your question, I think they are from the same plant family (Papaveraceae) but they're from different branches. The "English" poppy is from the genus papavere whereas the article you cite says the Californian poppy is from the genus Eschscholzia.

- Pam (not an expert)