Monday, May 25, 2020

Poppies, Thistles and a Bank Holiday

Our self-seeded oriental poppy (above) opened yesterday morning, and already the bees are buzzing madly. (Do bees get an opium high from poppies?) We were surprised that the flower is orange. The oriental poppies we grew a few years ago were red. I have no idea where this seed came from! Judging from the hairy buds below this blossom, there are at least two more flowers on the way.

Another of our field poppies opened, too.

The first blossom on our love-in-a-mist, or nigella, has appeared.

Dave bought these crimson brook thistles a few years ago. Last year they didn't do much, but this year they finally sent up stalks and bloomed.

Here's another plant rescue success story. When Mrs. Kravitz threw out some of her plants a few months ago (and I saved the jade plant) I also picked up a dried knot of fern knuckles from the gutter in front of her house. It had fallen out of her yard waste bag. And when I say dry I mean dry.

We put it in a pot and later in the ground, and it didn't do anything for a while. We thought it might be dead, but it wasn't decomposing, so we left it alone. And yesterday we noticed a tiny fiddlehead is finally uncurling.

The roses are looking good, too -- as are Olga's belly spots! You can see a couple of burdock plants beneath the roses, which I grew from seed last spring. They're quite impressive plants with those big leaves.

It's a bank holiday weekend in Britain, and the weather is nice, so the crowds have been out and about. I took Olga to Fortune Green and the cemetery yesterday, and we saw dozens of people. I tried to take a pano shot of Fortune Green to show how crowded it was. Because of the camera perspective it's hard to tell, but there are about 70 people in that picture. And Fortune Green is a small park!


  1. Funny. You tried to show how honestly crowded the park was and it instead looks empty. Someone I know took a photo of the Paseo the other day to show how AWFUL it is (everything is always awful for her). I was in the same spot at the same time. It was wonderful -- loads of space between people. But the angle and perspective of her photo made it look like a mob scene. Oh, there I go again... a novella. Anyway, your photos are as always breathtaking!

  2. It's laudable that you derive so much pleasure from your garden - especially the flowers. You have shown your loyal readership very many wonderful floral images during the years that I have been visiting "Shadows and Light".

  3. I am most jealous of your roses!
    Also- you have the steadiest hand at panoramic photos I've ever seen.

  4. I'm jealous of your beautiful flowers too. They are gorgeous! I love those poppies. For some reason, none of the ones I planted ever grew. Olga looks wonderful taking in all the sunshine, surrounded by all that beauty. It looks like folks are really practicing their
    distancing in the park. That's good. Enjoy your holiday, hugs, Edna B.

  5. Your garden is looking wonderful. I wonder if orange is the original color and this particular plant reverted?

  6. The people look as if they are following the correct spacing very well.

  7. Olga looks exhausted from some serious Kong play.

  8. I love seeing your garden. Your photos remind me how much I love Oriental Poppies. I'm going to have to see if I can plant some. We used to have them, and I'm not sure what became of them.

  9. The people appear to be well spaced apart from each other. The flowers in your garden are beautiful. You have the magic touch.

  10. When I was growing up in Michigan we had poppies which my mother called 'California poppies' but maybe they were 'Oriental poppies'? They were 3' high and bright orange with a black center. Great backdrop for a fence. Now I'm in Arizona and I haven't seen many poppies. Your photos (and lush garden) are to die for!

    I've seen your comments on Bruce's Blog and now that I have a 'bank holiday' from work I've been looking around at the blogs Bruce follows. So many blogs! So little time!

  11. I remember the California Poppies. I think I have them reversed Orange California and Red the ornamental or like I said maybe I have them mixed up. I never seen the orange ones until I moved to Nevada and they were stunning. I managed to keep them alive and always the red ones reminds me of growing up. My dad was a really big VFW supporter and we girls was raised in the VFW Post. We would go on weekends for Bingo, Dancing and we did all kinds of cookouts and so much more. One of the things that we did was to spend a few hours to Volunteer and we would make the paper red poppies and go to the nursing homes and pin them onto the residents.
    It is one of those memories that takes me back to days when I was growing up and seeing how much that small poppy pinned meant to them. Not a dry eye in the place including my own. It was something that I looked forward to doing and did it until I moved away and remarried.
    Several years ago when I moved back to Texas I went by the old VFW in my home town. It is no longer there and I didn't have time to find out just where as I had an appointment and it was just a quick pass thru.

    I do love your ability to take some marvelous photos. Also I love the gardens you and Dave have planted and nurtured. I miss being able to really garden. It is just late May but already we are having scorching hot days. I cannot believe that we have already had 100 degree days.
    Have a beautiful day and give Olga my love... Hugs to you and Dave.

  12. I would, for once, echo YP's comment. You and Mother Nature make the world a more beautiful place, Steve. Thank you.

  13. my red poppies bloom with a variation in color from deep red to the orangy red to petals striped with white or striped with kind of a darker red. they've all gone by now as has my love-in-a-mist.

  14. That's a good question about the bee and the poppy. Maybe you need to have the right receptors to get high and bees may not have those ...?

    Love your thistle shots - did you know thistles are on the Nova Scotia coat of arms? They are a popular image for our province, and also popular in business names and logos in our part of the province in particular. Also, probably needless to say, they grow everywhere. Their blossom is beautiful but the plants are merciless in their prickliness! You definitely need thick gardening gloves to pull ours up (they self-seed everywhere).

    I wish I could send you a load of our burdock - they grow everywhere here, too, and are considered to be one of the lowest of the low when it comes to weeds. It's interesting to see them through your eyes instead, as a lovely spreading leafy plant. Perspsective, huh? :) We all need a change in it from time to time.

  15. My Daughter went up to London yesterday to see Tom Grandson, they went to Greenwich Park, it was heaving with people.
    Loving the poppies, so delicate, the petals are truly beautiful.

  16. Beautiful poppy..worth saving some seeds and seeing what happens when they grow, what colours you get!

  17. your camera picks up the best red! I have never had a camera that does red- it always changes it into a fake color that does not exist. Need to spend more on the camera, probably. The phone seems to have a decent camera. Your flowers are stunning and so is Olga's belly, That is a pooch belly i would love to smother in raspberries, the blow kind not the fruit kind. This is our holiday_ Stay home!!! mask when out but do not go out unless it is essential and then for only a minute- rain, dark clouds - jacket weather. The only thing different is that the mail man will not come today.

  18. Mitchell: It must be exhausting to go through life with everything being AWFUL.

    YP: Thanks! Pretty much all we do are flowers. I suppose we've got enough space to grow some serious vegetables but we're just not into that. (Ask again when the apocalypse comes! LOL)

    Ms Moon: The trick with panos is to do them smoothly and quickly!

    Edna: Many times I've tried to grow poppies from seed and been disappointed. We have the most luck when the poppies simply seed themselves. Then they grow where they like and where they're happiest.

    Colette: That's a good question! Maybe!

    Red: Yeah, they were spaced out, for the most part.

    Marty: She's always like that when she's in the back garden. She loves lying out in the sun.

    Robin: You must have California poppies, right? Or are you too far north for those?

    Sharon: I think the trick is that there are two of us, and few distractions, so we can put a lot of time into the garden. To put it bluntly, we have nothing better to do. LOL

    LL: Hello and thanks for visiting! There IS an orange variety called California poppy, but I wonder if they would grow in Michigan? Oriental poppies are much bigger and sturdier plants with hairy leaves and stems. Could be that's what you had.

    Beth: No, you're right -- California poppies are typically orange and Oriental poppies are often red. (Although evidently they can be orange too!) You've had some hot days for it being so early in the year!

    Catalyst: Thank you! I'm glad you're not too bored with flower photos.

    Ellen: I don't think we've ever had a poppy with stripes. Here's hoping!

    Jenny-O: I remember you telling me about the cursed burdock! Hopefully I won't regret growing them. I just love their gigantic leaves -- I think they're such an impressive plant. But maybe they'll be like the teasels, which have seeded themselves all over our garden!

    Briony: Yeah, we've been heaving here too, but I can't really blame people. It was such a beautiful weekend. Hopefully our infection rates won't go up again!

    GZ: Yeah, I might try that! I wonder if that plant can fertilize itself? I don't know of any others around...

    Linda Sue: My previous point-and-shoot wasn't good with reds or yellows, so I know what you mean. The tricky color with my current camera seems to be green. Sometimes greens come out very blue and sometimes way too yellow. I love Olga's belly too!