The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

Four In A Dozen For Diana


I am joining Diana of Elephant’s Eye in choosing twelve months of my favorite garden plants. Come April I am reminded of Poppies. Now in the garden the large leaves of Oriental Poppies spray from the ground – Surprise! they say, you forgot we were here. And I did. After blooming, their leaves tend to fade away by late summer. More have popped up from last year. I moved a few to a new spot in the garden where they can surprise me once again next year. Soon, their alien pod-like blooms will rise up on wavy wands to catch the dew.

Again, surprise! One magic day their large billowing blooms burst open. Their blooms are intense fiery suns, their color burning, bringing us Northern gardeners what we have been craving over the Winter months and during this chilly Spring.

Later in the year, California Poppies skirt the edge of my Nice Driveway, hot and dry. They are reseeding themselves nicely and will even grow in the cracks, a much nicer alternative to crab grass. This year I am adding more in a dusky rose color to soften the orange I already grow.

Also this year, Pepperbox Poppies will find their way into the Potager. I have some seeds of an heirloom variety from Renee’s Garden and want to try these seeds in my own homemade bread. The pods will also be pretty dried. I couldn’t resist Renee’s Shirley Poppies Angels’ Choir, either. These should be pretty and frilly in a mix of soft “watercolor shades” (perfect for painting!) in coral, apricot and peach. Some are bicolor, some picotees (with a different colored edge).

A native Yellow Wood Poppy, Stylophorum Diphyllum, is blooming in my garden right now. Not necessarily common in this area from what I read. Never-the-less a few have volunteered to grow here and I appreciate their bright drops of sunshine. This year I hope to save some of the seed and spread it around. I may have to compete with the chipmunks who savor these seeds, or maybe they will distribute them for me.

What garden “pops” without Poppies?

To read about my previous choices for a dozen for Diana, click below.
January: Sunflowers
February: Wild Roses

March: Lady’s Mantle


Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

4 thoughts on “Four In A Dozen For Diana

  1. I, too, think poppies are a great choice for a monthly flower. They aren't blooming yet here in Michigan.

  2. Mine are the – in Flanders fields the poppies grow – they appeared unplanted. I suspect they sneak in with the farmer's wheat seed and blow on the wind, or the birds bring them. My mother used to grow those buttery orange California poppies – I must find some seed!

  3. Nice poppies Kathy. I've seen the wood poppy planted with woodland phlox for a really nice blue and yellow color display.

  4. Love my poppies although they are hard to grow in my soil and dampness…I have a few growing foliage but too early for flowers although now that we are getting some warm weather I may be surprised soon…

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