Thursday, July 10, 2008

Frank's Poppies Revisited

Last summer I recounted the story of Frank's Poppies and how they came to brighten our garden, where they have made it an even brighter --and pinker-- place than it used to be. It's a pity that their bloom time is short ... two weeks or less, (especially if you have some pounding rains while they're open). But while they're blooming en masse they're truly spectacular.
Here's a fun single bloom close up with the sedum and boulders by the steps leading to the house. In the background you can also see one of the Prairie Mallows sneaking into the shot ... not bad for a recovering anti-pink curmudgeon, eh? This particular poppy and all of those around it in the upper bed (this was growing from the base of the rocks) are now gone. I needed that space for 2 Meadow Sages, a couple of Silver Mounds and some zinnias! They were done anyway, and by not letting the pods mature and drop seed, this will help thin out the outrageous numbers of them who come up every year. Such is the life for an annual poppy ...
I like this last shot best for the purely natural framing the flowers themselves provide. Both the poppy and the Zebrina Mallow came up at the base of the boulders just off the sidewalk where there are numerous other Mallows, Calendulas and sedums. I really like how the Sedum will thrive in a small space between the rocks and be perfectly content, and to be honest, it's a plant I've really started to encourage the past few years. Go ahead, I say: try being a profligate punk in this garden! I wouldn't mind at all. It's pretty even when it's done blooming and it also helps keep weeds down once it takes over a spot. Unlike the other one we have, Sedum sarmentosum, it doesn't get all leggy and ratty looking in the hotter months, and best of all, cleans up after itself in the fall.

A pity that these lovely poppies are now done for the year, and the rest will be pulled very soon ... but they're such a great bridge from the late Bee Balm to prime Coneflower and Mallow blooming time ... the hibiscus seem to be a bit behind this year, but I'm betting they'll start sometime later this month ... ah, hibiscus days are ahead ... best part of the summer for me! (Well, that and the first ripe tomatoes.)

10 comments:

Shady Gardener said...

Beautiful Pink Poppies!!! I've always loved poppies, but moreso the Oriental variety. We had a beautiful orange "wanderer" at "the other place," many of which never got the chance to bloom. It has been hard for me to dig up plants, but I'm slowly (finally) getting better at it.

I began a "post" on this comment. Decided to save it for a real post... :-)

Gail said...

Good morning!

Nice color that pink poppy is sporting! A different pink then the mallows; which seem to lean toward a lavender pink? Maybe they have more blue then the poppy! Anyway, I like them! It is too bad they bloom for such a short time....I feel that way about a few flowers.

Oh, I have some sedums that look horrible right now, too...time to chop them back I guess!

Looking forward to lots of photos of your hibiscus!

Gail

Roses and Lilacs said...

Very pretty pink poppies, but I really love the mallow. I'll have to look for Zebrina, the color is unique and striking.

I have one mallow, a pink that makes a 3-foot bush, self seeds like crazy and has tap root to China. It's sprouting in the oddest places.

boran2 said...

These are wonderful photos, IVG. That last one does provide a nice setting for the poppies.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Shady,
Aren't they cuties? We have two orientals getting buried in that back corner that have to get dug and brought out front. We can't not do that this year! As for digging, best to use a shovel and just take as big of a 'plug' as you can, so you don't disturb the root ball too much. I also think it's best done when they've finished blooming.

Will have to pop over and see what your post is later!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Gail,
These are such a beautiful pink, and so much fuller than other annual poppies ... and they have a special source!

Mallows come in a pretty wide range of colors, but you're probably right, most predominate in the pinky-purple range. I love em all, except maybe for those mutanty double blooming hollyhocks. Ack, we wouldn't grow those.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
Zebrina shouldn't be to hard to find at all ... we either bought seed at either a nursery or a Target a few years back. This is about their sixth year in the garden ... they're really like a dwarf hollyhock that maxes out at about 4 ft. They grew in masses last year, though this year they've dispersed themselves a bit more everywhere.

That pink on is the Prairie Mallow I had a post on, recently. Yep it sure does self seed like crazy, and those roots get pretty big and tough!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey B2,
Thanks! We like to, as much as we can, get the flowers in their own context, and sometimes they make it so easy for us, hehe.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Beautiful poppies and mallow!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi IGW,
Thanks, we love 'em! I can collect seeds for you to sow in your garden if you're interested. Zebrina can be a bit slow getting going the first year, but once it takes off, wow, they're everywhere!