The Fleeting Pleasure of Poppies

The Poppies put on a nice show this year, the third season since they were planted. These are orange poppies, double-flowered. My friend Linc gave them to me. I do not know the variety or even the species, so I just refer to them as ‘Linc’s Poppies’. If I had to guess I would say they were some kind of Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale).


Their timing was fortuitous, as they burst into bloom just after the Tulips were done. Thus they provided me with another quick fix of orange just when I needed it.

The first two buds opened on the day last week when I had to travel to Springfield. All the hairy, nodding buds promised more orangey goodness in the near future.

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Sure enough, during the week Judy texted me this picture. These were the poppies at their peak. I love the combination of vibrant color with thin, delicate petals. Delicate, but short-lived. By the time I got home on Friday, the Poppy show was almost over.

This is the first year that we had a decent number of blooms. I’m looking forward to the continued spread of these Poppies, and the drama and energy they briefly inject into the Driveway Border when there isn’t a lot else going on.


Incidentally, these Poppies bloom simultaneously with our ‘Kit Kat’ Catmint (Napeta x faassenii). The Catmint’s mass of tiny blue flowers complement the Poppies beautifully.


Do you grow Poppies in your garden? If so, would you happen to know what kind of Poppies these are?


54 Comments on “The Fleeting Pleasure of Poppies

  1. We did have poppies years ago, and surprisingly, they all came from nowhere. We didn’t buy any poppies.

  2. I am sorry that I can not identify them. I have not grown many different kinds of poppies. They look like double orange Shirley poppies to me, but I do not think that the centers are right.

  3. We have poppies in the wilder parts of our garden – these look like perennial poppies, possibly Persian poppy (bracteum) but the dark centre looks smaller in yours. Oriental poppies generally have a much wider dark centre but there could be some like yours. Let us know if you get a firm id!

  4. I adore these poppies. I see them in several gardens around town. I don’t know what kind they are. I have bought starts over the years but the longest they have lasted in my garden is 3 years. They never produced enough to carry on. Like you say they are drama for the garden with those outlandish orange blooms. Do you cut back your catmint? Mine is a different variety and is quite floppy right now. I am about to cut it back. I hope I don’t kill it.

    • I have taller Catmint varieties, including ‘Six Hills Giant’, but I don’t cut it back until after it is done blooming.

  5. They are a great burst of colour. I have European red poppies and Californian poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and a friend has just given me some seed of poppies she has in her garden that a tones of red and orange a mix of doubles and singles so maybe the same as yours.

  6. I love poppies. I used to have a beautiful white one and some red. Then one year they all disappeared. I have no idea what happened.

  7. If they are hardy they could well be oriental ones, but doubles – gorgeous! My oriental poppies are much larger plants with a larger, darker centre, but single petals – but there are so many different ones. Do let us know if someone can identify them correctly!

      • Well, they have spread around the garden a bit and flower at intervals over a couple of weeks. One heavy rainshower though and their days are numbered! I pull up most of the plant after flowering (unless leaving some to go to seed) and they send up new leaves to fill gaps and if I am lucky I get a couple more flowers late summer.

  8. My poppies look much the same as yours, only they are single, alas. I didn’t know double was an option! I’ve always thought of them as opium poppies but since I dug them up ahead of a bulldozer, I really have no idea. I like the idea of them being “Linc’s Poppies” πŸ™‚
    It was a good year for them in my garden for sure. I can never refrain from taking their photographs, they are just so pretty.

  9. They are a lovely vivid colour. Poppies self seed everywhere here, they love our poor sandy soil. Ours are similar to yours but singles and not perennials. Shame you misses them in all their

  10. I love the double orange poppies….I have single poppies and seed California poppies as well….they come back which is a delight. Love the purple catmint next to that orange.

  11. I love your poppies, I haven’t had much luck with poppies, but perhaps I need supports for them as they grow taller, the way you have them. When we were in Italy we saw poppies all through the fields near Rome, a lovely sight. Not something we would ever see in Australia.

  12. I love poppies. Usually I’m not that big into short-lived flowers but with a bunch of flowers coming along the show does go on for a while with these. I have a few opium poppy seedlings this spring. I hope they do well since my luck with them has not been so good in the past πŸ™‚

    • Good luck with your opium poppies. Not sure if these poppies are short-lived or not. I guess I’ll know in a year of two.

  13. I should grow California poppies since I am , y ‘know, in California. But I grow P. somniferum ‘Laurens Grape’. Sumptuous color and re-seeds. I don’t think yours are Oriental. If they are annuals that re-seed not O’s. If they are perennial and look like crapola the rest of the summer , yes.

    • I’ve seen ‘Lauren’s Grape’ on the seed packet displays. Looks tempting. Mine are perennial, but someone just suggested they might be P. intermedia.

  14. As I frequently think when reading your blog, that flower would be a nice addition to my garden. Then I promptly forget. Have you ever created a plant list of your yard?

    • I’ve done plant lists for different parts of the yard, but maybe something more comprehensive would be a good winter project.

  15. So very beautiful!
    I have very little experience in growing poppies, have had some white ones and hope to have many pink ones in the future. πŸ™‚

  16. That’s a very cheerful poppy. I love them too. My favourite is the dark pink Oriental poppy ‘Patty’s Plum’.

  17. We have one peach colored poppy, and I anticipate it’s beautiful blooms each year. I do not know the name of yours, but I don’t know the name of mine either. πŸ™‚ I even bought some poppy seeds last year, tried to start them indoors, but was unsuccessful. Next – I’ll try them outdoors.

  18. These are gorgeous. I planted seeds this year and pictured how striking their display would be. Still imagining as not a single one came up. I also have β€˜Kit Kat’ Catmint. Looks great with your poppies.

  19. We’ve had California poppies-in California and they tend to be invasive. I keep trying the Oriental Poppies and so far so good. I think one is going to bloom. Yay!

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