|the book courtesy of Amazon.com|
Over the course of many weeks we built a vegetable garden, sowed seeds, cleared a dumping ground of weeds and broken beer bottles and planted trees and flowers. Months later my heart swelled with pride when I saw in the newspaper that the estate had been highly commended by the tidy town committee and they never looked back since.
The group I had were all at different stages of life, with their own sets of obstacles to overcome. One lady rarely spoke, hadn't left the house in years, yet her neighbours and family were delighted that she came faithfully to us each week. A young girl in her early 20s was working in a menial job being bullied by her boss and desperately looking for a decent job working for a kinder person.She was very soft hearted and apt to tears, and it was truly a horrible person who would take full advantage of it. Paddy was the daddy of the group, he looked after everyone was kindhearted and good natured and an excellent gardener. Every thug on the estate respected him. Others had mental illnesses and physical handicaps-we even had PJ our very own one armed man!
|Angels choir poppy from Flickr by Lynda 2008|
Anyway back to the book which is a lovely pocket book sized collection of essays and stories from famous people including gardeners on their favourite plants. I picked out the one by Christopher Lloyd, thinking of Charles and how he liked to read his weekly articles in the guardian.It was all about Poppies, which ones to grow and why, very timely as I have about 10 packets including his highly recommended "angels choir" to scatter in the upper garden this month. But then I saw the very first entry, simply called Meconopsis by Wayne Winterrowd and it turned out to be about menoconopsis betonicifolia, the the fabled blue Himalayan poppy.
|Tim taken from his daughters facebook page|
What a dilemma I thought! waiting for this 4 ft high stem with a magnificent 3 inch bloom and you have to deliberately pinch it out the first year! It turned out that if you didn't pinch it out the plant would pack up and die, pinching it out meant keeping the plant in leaf for another year making sure it became a reliable perennial in the long run, producing more and more blue poppies with each passing year.
So I sympathised with him, and laughed at the pain of it all until I walked past Tim's blue poppy plants in my own garden a few days later and saw...the first flowers budding up from the base!! O No!! Now its my fecking dilemma too!! I am sorely tempted to ring Tim and ask his advise but I don't want to bother him either, its one of my pet hates getting ridiculous phone calls about what to do from some inconsiderate person on a Bank Holiday afternoon (not you guys!), bad students, obviously!!!! I looked up the internet but beyond the mention in this book I cant find the answer for growing the poppy on this side of the world. This pinching out business dosent surprise me though, last year I had an education on it talking to a guy who grows show winning dahlias.
|the dilemma, to pinch out or not?|