I was thrilled when on the lovely day of May 3rd the first bud of my Himalayan Blue Poppy began to open. I purchased two plants last year at the Rhododendron Species Garden in Federal Way, hoping against hope that I could grow them in my yard. I knew that Meconopsis could be a difficult plant to grow and without a lot of options I planted them in an odd spot in between two planter boxes. It tends to stay cool and moist in that location and perhaps the companion plant also in that bed influenced me. It’s a Sunshine Blue blueberry bush…why not put blue with blue? I wished them good luck and waited.
I thought the winter rains would be too much, maybe the soil wouldn’t drain enough, so when they popped out of the ground this spring I was happily surprised. They were growing! They both made it…I was so excited. The fuzzy leaves shot up 12 to 14 inches high and slowly the first plant formed a flower bud. The flower that appeared on May 4th (yes, the force is strong in this one) sparkled. The blue of this poppy is incredible. There aren’t many things like it in the natural world which makes it stand out even more against the many shades of green all around. The color is so intense that it seems to glow a bright beautiful blue. The first flower lasted just under a week and after a few days the second bud opened and I see a third one farther down the stalk. That probably means almost a month of blue from this one little poppy. And the second plant hasn’t formed it’s flower stalk yet, so I’m hoping for a blue June as well. I read that they like cool and moist growing conditions and that the seeds are easily collected and will germinate readily. I’m really excited to gather the seeds up and start growing Meconopsis. Maybe someday I’ll have my very own Blue Poppy Meadow like at the Rhododendron Garden. It’s true Poppy Love.