Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Making a Sacrifice to the Garden Gods

Every year I tell myself I am not going to have floppy poppies. But then time gets away from me, and before you know it, they are flowering like mad, but also falling all over everything around them, like a Victorian lady with a bad case of the vapors.

From this side of the bed they don't look bad

They're such pretty flowers




The flower color even looks good with the blue of Centaurea montana and the acid yellow of Alchemilla mollis

And the seedpods are sure fun to look at

I should have painted a face on this one

But the flower color clashes horribly with the lavender of Clematis 'Josephine' at the other end of the bed


When the flowers shatter they leave a mess


It's hard to believe it's already time to cut something back. But I think it's time to cut the Oriental poppies to the ground and allow fresh, new foliage to come up. It will mean sacrificing any still unopened buds, but it has to be done.


Good-bye bud!

For a time, maybe a couple of weeks, they'll leave a big open spot in the bed. But soon new foliage starts to come up.

New foliage already coming up

Neighboring plants always look a fright for a while too!

Do you have any messes to clean up in your garden already?

20 comments:

  1. I absolutely love that combination with the Centaurea, Alchimilla and poppies! gorgeous. And yes, the tree peony has finished up and there are the remains of those pink, giant fluffy flowers scattered everywhere and a few sodden piles under the tree to clean out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The purple, orange, yellow combo looks good, and yes even the seed heads. Persicaria will need trimming in our garden soon, which will make a temporary mess.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such pretty flowers and seed heads! The first combo is indeed wonderful. Kudos to you for your tidiness. My whole garden is a mess!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, yes, a mess in my garden too. That same poppy that also didn't get its proper props this year. I tried after the fact to support it, but it just looks ugly. Luckily this particular plant is down by the compost bin, so I'll let it bloom before it ends up in the bin.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Poppies are just about to come into flower here - I grow my white orientals amongst some Astrantia which gives them the support they need and my Patty's Plum is still struggling away in the new bed!
    I always chop back the orientals when they've finished - we often get a 2nd flush later in the year - does that happen with you Alison?
    Like everyone else I think the Purple/Orange combo is a winner Alison

    ReplyDelete
  6. The poppies are so pretty! I've never had much success with oriental poppies. It seems as though there's one major clean-up after another from spring through fall here. The Phlomis really need to be cut back now, although I keep trying to convince myself that the spent flower heads are decorative. It'll be the Agapanthus next month...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Shoot, my daffodils are just now blooming. I have a while before my poppies come up. We are so shaded and wet it is a real treat if they bloom. Yours look nice to me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'll have to go out and see to mine, I can't remember if I cut them back or just yank out the dead leaves. I'm on the look out for P. orientale 'Madallion' if you come across it ,

    ReplyDelete
  9. They are beautiful. The photo with the Centaurea and Achemillea is really good--the colors!

    ReplyDelete
  10. That papery sheer quality of poppy petals is like nothing else out there - they are stunning! I wouldn't have the heart to cut off any buds at all.... And I love the sound of "floppy poppy".... "floppy poppy"... :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful photos of your poppies! Especially the close-ups showing the blue anthers. I've got so much to clean up and simply redo. Parts of my garden need a major overhaul!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I just love poppies in all their stages. You've captured their progression beautifully. As for messes to clean up in the gardens...where to begin...where does it end? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love the sumptuous colours of your oriental poppies and gorgeous photos. I always forget to stake my poppies too. I don' t know why, I wouldn't t dream of leaving my delphiniums unsupported. Have you ever tried growing the seeds? If you have several different kinds of poppy you may get interesting babies. I am going to try some seeds from Patty' s Plum this year and see what I get.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your garden is much farther along than mine so I'm currently mess-less, unless you count pooping dogs. But it will come! I love the brightness your poppies bring to their bed. I really love them with the centaurea. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh I can't even think about the messes right now....my poppies don't flop thankfully.

    ReplyDelete
  16. My Silene 'Rolly's Favorite' prolific progeny have bloomed their fool heads off since April. I have cut some back and was thinking just yesterday that it's time for the remaining few to get the haircut. If I don't they'll all go to seed and I'll have five million more progeny to deal with. I've also cut back bulb foliage and the flowering stems on my Pulmonaria to allow the new foliage to shine. I enjoy the process.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lovely poppies Alison. What is the large yellow leaved plant in your first photo of the bed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim Sue, That's a gold-leaved Catalpa tree/Catalpa bignonioides 'Aurea'. It's still just a baby, but one day it will be bigger.

      Delete
  18. ALWAYS something to cut back or tidy up around here. I weeded out a big patch of buttercups, only to discover that they were what were propping up the columbines. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Why do you want to get away from poppies? They’re lovely and they add such a rich color to your garden. Maybe you could just mix them with other flamboyant-looking floras so their opulent color wouldn’t dominate the appearance of your garden. Hopefully your plan to contain them in a particular area works. Good luck!

    Sam Lucas @ Green Collar

    ReplyDelete

Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.