Saturday, December 11, 2010

Iceland poppies and sweet peas...

Two flowers I have always struggled to grow successfully are poppies and sweet peas, both favourites. Finally this year I have had poppies to pick. I love them for their hardy fragility. They transform from wrinkled old age to full-faced youth (if only...!). Mine however are nowhere near as spectacular as those I used to buy from a home in suburban St Martins. Poppies en masse in a bucket at the gate. Huge, generous, blowsy bunches and a little honesty box. My mother used to grow opium poppies - more by accident than design - and was affronted one year when someone stole the lot!

Sweet peas I still struggle with, my hard-baked clay not to their liking. In compensation, my cousin Claire picks me lovely, sweet-smelling bunches from her garden. Both of us grew up in gardening (flower and vegetable) families and one of our great pleasures in middle age is sharing our garden produce.


  1. Lovely paradox---hardy fragility. Spectacular photograph. Welcome back. I've been watching for you. Your mother sounds fun! We, too, in Georgia USA, garden in hard red clay. It taught me the pleasures of composting :-).

  2. Your photography is beautiful - spectacular. It matches your writing.

  3. I ambled over here to see who's on the other end of the discussion on Elaine's blog. As recorded above your photos are spectacular, and the iceland poppies are just the best. I have never been able to grow them in plenty either.