25 August 2013

Dennis the Menace

I feel like the Wilson's from the movie Dennis the Menace.  Oh how they covet that arum or corpse flower which is known to bloom only once every 40 years or something insane like that.  You know the scene of which I speak.  

 I  adore the free flowering varieties of Papaver (poppy) growing melodically throughout the gardens.  Single and double varieties in pinks, lavenders and the odd white.  The bees appear to adore poppies and the poppy seed head which follows is a staple in my cut flower bunches.  

Earlier this season, I became obsessed with Papaver somniferum 'Lauren's Grape' poppy.

To learn more about Papaver somniferum check out THIS great post by my friend, Master Gardener and garden writer, Holly Rupert.

I discovered Lauren's Grape while scouring online catalogues searching for the perennial poppy, 'Patty's Plum' and was immediately smitten.  I was desperately searching for Canadian sources for the seed when I discovered it through the Gardenweb Forum.  

There, a fellow gardener generously shared seed from her Southern Ontario garden.  I was graciously delirious with happy when the seed arrived in the mail.  After fluffing of the garden soil in early spring, I broadcast seed in specific spots throughout the garden, spots I thought would go undisturbed by a busy gardener's hands.  I did not mark the spots upon which I scattered self-proclaiming that I would recall their location and the seeds would remain undisturbed during germination.  As the season progressed and the garden began to fulfill it's promise of a true and proper spring, the patches of poppy became covered with the ever increasing foliage of the surrounding plants and I promptly forgot where I had so carefully scattered.  

Having shared seed with two fellow gardener's to ensure a local supply of seed next spring, I cautiously inquired if the seed which they had so carefully sewn was showing signs of germination?  So far, not a sign.  

I was careful not to overweed or excavate the poppies which revealed themselves in areas which I thought might contain this precious commodity and watched my gardens closely.  

Now, after a full season in the gardens, Papaver, 'Lauren's Grape' has begun to show herself in full regalia.  She's just as I imagined. 

While I'm not throwing a party like the Wilson's, if you too love Lauren's Grape and have yet to see her in person, this is your chance.  You are invited to have a peek at her, she's growing in the potager garden at the shops entrance.  This heat will no doubt  bring her along quickly.  I have been watching her bloom all day long and I suspect that by tomorrow morning, she will be in full and stunning bloom. Luckily she has a few smaller sisters. 

The annual cutting gardens are also beginning to burst into bloom and while I now begin to watch the weather carefully for signs of frost, the gardens will be left to come along at what I expect will now be a fast and furious pace.  

If you are in the mood for a garden stroll . . .

Tuesday, August 27th  7 - 8:30 p.m.  

As a gentle reminder, there are honeybees and a large population of other bees on the property.  They are busy foraging for nectar and pollen and do so amongst the gardens and the grounds, including the grass.  If you are allergic to bees, please be prepared.  

Photos 1, 3, 4 & 5:  theurbanfarmchick.blogspot.com
Photos 2:  crocus.uk via therebloomsagarden.com

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