25 May 2008

In Praise of Fertilizer

These poppies are very unusual and are easily grown from seed each year. The multiple ruffled petals give the appearance of peonies, and the blue-green foliage has the appearance of a cole vegetable plant. The seeds are sown directly in the ground in fall.

These were obtained from a yard outside Binghamton, New York, where they have prospered for decades in an upstate New York climate. They have not been specificallly identified from any garden catalog, although peony poppies are found in various nooks and crannies on the internet, and seem to come in purple and dark red in addition to this pink.

This year, a few of the plants really took off in height and size, while the remaining plants are average. All were planted in the same plot and fertilized with slow release organic fertilizer in the spring. The larger ones, however, were planted very close to alliums, which had the benefit of bone meal fertilizer applied in the ground in the fall. Lessons learned.

For The Record:
  • Growing in medium soil, full sun
  • Slow release organic granular fertilizer, some bone meal in the fall
  • Does not transplant
  • Blooms do not last long
  • Unusual color & flower gets ooo's & aah's

Garden Calendar:
  • Blooming: poppies, calendula, purple salvia, geranium, nicotiana, foxglove