Purple Haze

Perhaps you may remember how excited I was last year to watch a luminous purple poppy grow and bloom in a patch of rubble in our garden-to-be last year? And how carefully I caught and stored its seed in the autumn?

Well, I sowed a handful of the seed this spring in a seed tray, and it germinated strongly. I pricked a dozen out, but then left them languishing in their cells rather too long before they finally went into the ground last month, only a foot high, to briefly flare with small brilliant flowers.  But some of those seedlings I pressed into the earth around the dormant leucanthemum clump, while they were still barely showing their true leaves, and let them take their chances.

Lately I couldn’t fail to see several stems of the pale lettuce-leafed plants growing strong and tall beside the daisies, and even as I took my end-of-July pictures on Sunday I smiled at the fat green buds that danced three feet or more above the ground.

On Monday morning, I drew back the curtains to a grey wet morning, but immediately my eye was caught by two vivid splashes of purple in the gloom below me, and within minutes I had snatched up my camera and made my way into the garden to capture their beauty.

Their heady bursts of colour amid the lacy heads of ammi majus catch my eye every time I have walked up or down the garden this week, turning my head.

The following morning, two more vivacious blooms unfurled almost as I watched, on the other side of the daisies.

Already the first pepper-pot seed heads are revealed, young and green, where the petals have fallen in the wind and showers of this week, while further buds bow their heads patiently awaiting their turn.

Yet each time I pass, there are still two or three flares of purple either side of the blazing mound of daisies, singing amid the ammi majus and the quieter pinks of echinacea and cosmos which come and go beside them.


Sigh. I’m not sure that any words could entirely do justice to these wonderful poppies that lift my heart each time I look upon them.

Better be careful this year, King of the Hill casually remarked, not to let them self-sow too freely, or we’ll be over-run next summer. This image spread a large smile across my face. I should think we’ll be okay, I said, still smiling. Picturing that.


Can you have too much of a good thing?

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15 thoughts on “Purple Haze

    • Ah sad that you forgot to sow yours – didn’t you have some lovely pale lavender coloured double ones last year? Hopefully they’ll still be viable next year.

  1. There is an almost luminous quality to the poppies in your photos. May you never be without them ( and you won’t)…..

    • I love the change in colour as the sun lights them up. I suspect they won’t always come as true as they have this year, but fingers crossed.

  2. Your photos do these poppies justice Sara – delicious colour , like blackberry juice. What a reward for your green fingers and I like they way you pressed them into place so that in amongst the Leucanthenum they shout ‘Look at me’. Too much of a good thing? – Never.

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