Who would look dangerously up at planets that might look safely down at plants?
Sunday, 3 July 2011
'Fairy Wings' poppies. The flower on the left opened 'today', the paler one on the right opened 'yesterday'. The anthers produce pollen on the first day and collapse on the second, when the stigmatic surfaces become receptive.
An undesirable red.
At this time of year one of my important daily tasks is to go round the garden to see all the newly opened poppies: it's a nice thing to do while the kettle is boiling for early tea. What the neighbours think of a dressing-gowned figure stalking round at 5 am is another matter, but I suspect they're not up to see. The garden always produces a nice lot of 'Fairy Wings' poppies every year, and it's lovely to see them opening, but I'm particular about ensuring that they stay pale and don't become dominated by reds. I've nothing against red poppies, but I don't want them in the garden here, so each morning I go forth and pull out any newly opened red-flowered plants, hopefully catching them before the pollen has been carried to other flowers. It seems a shame, but red would soon come to dominate, and the pale shimmering colours so carefully selected for by Sir Cedric Morris would become much less frequent. Here's a selection of ones I like.
A personal view of the world of horticulture and plants by a gardening botanist and author, living in Settrington, North Yorkshire, and working as Director of the Yorkshire Arboretum, a partnership between the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Castle Howard.
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