The Fabled Himalayan 'Blue Poppy'
Two or three weeks ago the ground was frozen solid and I could find no evidence that the Meconopsis betonicifolia 'Lingholm' plants I planted last summer had survived. Seeds were planted mid January of 2013 and those that germinated transplanted to small pots near the end of February. They were transferred from the coziness of a warm, well-lit room in the house to a drafty greenhouse in March. Along the way I seemed to have killed all but a handful. However, on June 5 I managed to plant out seven small plants in a woodsy area near a prominent garden feature [and a few others which I will have to search for] and spent the rest of the summer worrying about them. Moles disturbed them more than once; deer used a nearby path, and last year was one of the worst for slugs. At the end of the year they had not grown much, if at all, and my hopes of ever having this magnificent poppy bloom diminished. So, as I was taking a cursory look around the gardens a few weeks ago assessing the winter damage I was not surprised to 'not see' anything but a patch of frost-heaved frozen ground where the poppies once grew. Amazingly, two days ago I was suprized to see five nice rosettes with what look like buds, and two inches tall to boot. What a difference a little extra daylight and warmth can make, but of course the ancient Egyptians knew this all along. With such early vigorous growth I have a reasonable hope of seeing a bloom or two this year. If I succeed the neighbors will just have to forgive my merrymaking.