Blue Poppy Time

This was a great year in my garden. Blue and bright, a profusion of delight. This is the first year I’ve had more than one bloom on my Meconopsis plants, which I originally acquired at the Rhododendron Species Garden. Last year only one single plant bloomed. So this year when I saw one early flower spike arising, I was overjoyed, but tempered my hopes, believing that I would only get one or two flowers like before. But to my great surprise and joy I watched one after another blue poppy open up and shine that beautiful blue blossom during the month of May. The blooms were staggered and each plant had two or three buds that opened up to flowers, lasting just over a week each.

It appears that Meconopsis needs one or two years to establish before it blooms in the garden. Last year I germinated more new Meconopsis from fresh seed. These plants grew and established in the greenhouse over the winter. I put them outside in 6″ pots in March, after the February snows. They flourished in the cool weather, never appreciating the heat in the greenhouse. I’ve planted the little sweeties in the garden this spring, but they seem to have stopped growing. Maybe all the action is taking place below the soil, establishing roots, preparing for next year. As they grow I’m trying to provide consistent moisture and fertile soil. I’ve added organic fertilizer and compost. It’s in a partly to mostly shady section of the garden. That’s my secret to keeping the soil moist, since I am unreliable when it comes to watering. Now I carefully keep an eye on the seed pods as they develop and ripen. I’ll harvest them in a month or so and start again!

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