California dreaming

F&F member Julie Knight has been invaded by Californian poppies, which is no bad thing.

In sunny spots in my front garden, an univited but very welcome guest has arrived. Brash and vibrant and confidently waving in the breeze, these beguiling California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) have self-seeded from another garden close by and inveigled their way into my affection. They unfurl their delicate flame orange petals in the daytime, closing again at dusk or in windy weather.


As hardy annuals, they’re easy to grow from seed and need little care once past the seedling stage as long as they’re in full sun. Sow in situ in mid spring for a summer display – they look gorgeous combined with drifts of cornflower or love in a mist for a really informal look.


As the name would suggest, they are a native of California and were named the state flower in 1903. Growing wild in the poor soils of wastelands and roadsides, they make a pretty sight lining the edge of California’s coastal Highway 1 and there’s even an annual festival there to celebrate them.

I promise you that once they’ve sneaked into your garden, you’ll never want to be rid of them.




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One Response

  1. Bumble Lush

    It’s so funny what we consider to be weeds or unwelcome things growing in our garden. These pictures are so pretty, but if I were trying to grow other things I’m sure I’d get annoyed too.


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