A while back, in my post about the public garden next door, I remarked that the flat of poppies I'd planted were just on the verge of blooming. I had picked out a few unusual varieties without really knowing how the blooms would look. Well, by now the garden is just overflowing with these crazy beauties. In general I'm really a perennial girl, but as annuals go, poppies are wonderful for several reasons...
• Each plant will produce dozens of flowers, and they'll keep on blooming through mid-summer (at least).
• They're perfect for cutting and arranging in bouquets (if a bit short-lived).
• Once the petals have dropped, the seed pod itself is a gorgeous sculptural element in your garden.
• Poppies grow quickly, and the foliage can get a bit messy, but it is a gorgeous silvery color—perfect as a contrast with darker leaves or black grass.
Click through the photos to see the different varieties I ended up with... they range from a red-and-white stripe (reminds me of a circus tent) to an explosion of deep, dark petals that almost looks like a peony.
(Images: Susie Nadler for Apartment Therapy)