In The Language of Flowers Book (one of many) poppy represents, apart from magic: life and death, good and evil, light and darkness and, of course, fruitfulness. The list of symbols was updated after the First World War when it became the Remembrance Poppy. This way poppy got entangled in a lot of meanings - a great responsibility for a modest, unpretentious and quite short-lived flower. The flaming petals must have some kind of power over us that we all tend to ascribe so contradicting messages to them. If we add another sense to poppy flowers and call it 'love' all ambiguities will vanish, as this powerful word as none, can harmonise incompatible notions. So can flowering poppy plants in the garden: go together with the other ornamentals.
Field poppy (Papaver rhoeas) is a common weed. I feel sorry for depriving the plant of its symbolic importance by calling it this way. I am doing it on purpose only to emphasize that being a weed can be a great asset in the garden. I know, I know, it sounds ridiculous, but not in the case of field poppy. Let me assure you that it will never pose a major threat to any plants growing in the garden the way other weeds do. What I would like to highlight here is the fact that poppies can be grown as additional plants together with other ornamentals, simply among them. Why not take advantage of it and sow poppy seeds in flower beds meant for perennials or annuals? The grace of poppy stems and the colors of poppy flowers introduce a lot of air into the garden. Sadly, the flowers do not last long, only one or two days. But the short show is really spectacular. Various shades and tones of reds, pinks and whites. Single flowers with a black or white spot at the base of their petals or double ones. By letting the seeds mature in the capsules we can be sure that some of them will germinate the following spring in unpredictable locations. A perfect example of fruitfulness. Those symbols cannot be wrong.
I was destined to be born gardener. In order to become a professional one I had to enjoy years of studying at various schools and universities... read more