Sunday, July 16, 2006
Black peony poppies
There are probably too many things in the cutting garden that I grow just because I love them - these black poppies are a great example - they are stunning - purple black sheeny petals above strong glaucous leaves, they make everyone gasp but they are a useless cut, as soom as the petals come out they drop.
Sarah Raven gets around this by cutting full blooms with the stems very short and then cramming them into a bowl of water with some chopped up seedheads - this does have its attractions, perhaps for a special dinner - but the reality is that floating flowers do not last well if they are directly in the water- the petals in contact with the water begin to rot very quickly. I also find that - with cats trying to drink the water and some suicidal flies - the glamorous arrangement soon looks seriously manky with decomposing petals floating in amongst a layer of fur and bodies.
I excuse my poppies by cutting the seedheads and drying them for Christmas things, but really that is just as excuse to have something so drop dead glamorous (and easy to grow) in the field.
I also harvest the seed - if anyone want some of the spares, as usual just let me know!