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Black and White Poppy (Papaver orientale)–and a Bit of Cyclamen




Sylvia (from England) emailed me about her black-and-white poppy, which had lost track of the season and was blooming with cyclamen. Since black and white poppies have been on my want list for a long time, I asked to see photos. Then I thought: why not ask her for a guest post?  Here it is.  PB

Dear Pomona,

This is a photo of my poppy ‘Black and White’ (Papaver orientale ‘Black and White’) flowering this week, it hid its bud near to the ground around a pot (which has tulip bulbs in, waiting for spring) and managed to avoid the two spells of frost we have had, to delight me with its November flower.  This poppy often has a flower in the September but never this late in the year.


The second photo was taken 3 days later when the flower was more open. The poppy is called black and white for the “black” blotches in the centre, but they are dark burgundy which matches some white cyclamen growing near by. It wasn’t possible to get a nice photo of them both together.


Normally this poppy flowers at the beginning of June – looking through my photos I found this photograph from 2006. This part of my back garden looks nothing like this now, the grass has been replaced with gravel and the bed is much bigger but the poppy is still there as well as the white and green variegated iris. This Iris was inherited and is a favourite of mine because it always looks good with the other plants around it, even when not flowering. The poppy is a fleeting beauty, as are the blue iris flower, but I always look forward to seeing them in summer.
Best wishes Sylvia (England)


 P.S. Sylvia– my apologies. I couldn’t find where to change the author name on this post, which is all yours. PB








{ 28 comments… add one }

  • Tyra in Vaxholm Sweden December 1, 2008, 7:06 am

    Hello Sylvia! How very nice to read this post. But did I get this right does the flower bloom now! In England WOW that is amazing if it’s not a joke :-) It is certainly impressive and so beautiful. LOL Tyra

  • Racquel December 1, 2008, 7:22 am

    Your garden is very lovely Sylvia. How fantastic to have your beautiful Black & White Poppy blooming right now! I have those same Irises in my garden and I inherited mine from the previous owner too. :) Great guest post today. Thanks Pomona!

  • Sylvia (England) December 1, 2008, 8:05 am

    Yes, Tyra this was blooming last week. The bud found some protection from the pot and our frost are not very hard. It was usual time it flowered that I wrote to Pomona about, who then very kindly asked me to do a post.

    Racquel, inherited plants are fun, mine are really happy as they have survived from years of neglect to delight me. Some I was glad to dig up, others needed some help to shine and some like the iris I would take a bit with me if I moved.

  • inadvertentfarmer December 1, 2008, 8:11 am

    Doesn’t Sylvia have amazing flowers? You chose a great guest for your blog.

    What a gorgeous poppy and such an unexpected surprise! Flowers blooming out of season are always so much fun.

    First time visiting your blog and am enjoying it very much! Kim

  • Frances December 1, 2008, 10:19 am

    Hi Sylvia, wonderful job, well done, and thanks to Pomona for publishing on your behalf. It was fun to see what you have blooming in your garden. What a delight to have cyclamen with the poppy. I had a similar poppy in my other TN house years ago, it was a beauty, called Perry’s white. I see that now White Flower Farm, among others is offering one called Royal Wedding. I think you have inspired me to get a black and white poppy for the black garden here. It fits the theme, right?

  • Karen - An Artists Garden December 1, 2008, 12:37 pm

    Hi Pomona and Sylvia,
    What a lovely idea – having a “guest blogger”
    Sylvia – I cannot believe that these are in flower now – it is lovely to see something of your garden.
    Warm regards

  • Anna/Flowergardengirl December 1, 2008, 12:59 pm

    Wow Syliva, that poppy is amazing and so strong to be blooming now of all times. One year some of our flowering shrubs bloomed twice due to perfect conditions and some odd weather changes. Your poppy is very large also. I would love to have one and I’ll have to see how it would do in Zone 7.

    Ok, let us see more! And Pomona–it was so kind of you to join in with Sylvia and let us see too…thank you as we all love Sylvia. I’m going to take a stroll around your garden since Sylvia invited me to your beautiful blog.

  • Victoria December 1, 2008, 1:02 pm

    Fabulous poppy, and so nice to see Sylvia blogging, too!

  • Stuart December 1, 2008, 1:34 pm

    Congratulations Pomona for dragging Sylvia (albeit kicking and screaming) into the blogging domain. This is a great idea.

    Sylvia, I’m in love with your poppies and you’ve inspired me to try and track down some for myself here in OZ. I love your garden and *nudge* look forward to seeing more of it.

  • Crafty Gardener December 1, 2008, 2:38 pm

    What gorgeous photos of an beautiful flower. I must add that to my wish list.

  • Pomona Belvedere December 1, 2008, 3:30 pm

    It looks as if I’m not the only person who enjoys Sylvia’s garden via posts and email–and I see I’m not the only one who longs for black and white poppy. Thanks for a great post, Sylvia. Frances, I’m going to have to check out your black garden–I haven’t gotten that organized, but I’m mad for black plants and blooms.

  • Northern Shade December 1, 2008, 3:42 pm

    Sylvia, that is a very elegant looking poppy. They are such a focal point, with their long stems and large petals. What an unexpected delight to have a summer flower blooming now.
    It was fun having a peek at your garden. I’d love to see a look around in the other directions.

  • Carol, May Dream Gardens December 1, 2008, 7:36 pm

    Sylvia, that is an amazing bloom for this time of year. I’m very happy to see it and read your post about it. It sounds like a flower to have! Thanks for sharing this event with us.

  • meems @ Hoe and Shovel December 1, 2008, 8:52 pm

    Sylvia, Thank you so much for inviting me by to see a bit of your garden. Fleeting beauties are usually ravishing as is your poppy. Look forward to the time when you can possibly have your own blog… and we can see more.

  • Sylvia (England) December 2, 2008, 2:53 am

    Thank you my friends for your lovely comments and thank you Pomona – this was a great idea of yours. It is amazing what writing a post about a plant can do – I will never look at this poppy in the same way again. If it was allowed I would propagate one for each and everyone of you, I have this fancy to try root cuttings from the various poppies I have in my garden. Yes I do grow several other poppies!

    I am discussing with Pomona the possibility of another guest post, so please watch this space.

    Best wishes and thank you Sylvia (England)

  • Sylvia December 2, 2008, 2:59 am

    White flowers are my favorite, and, Sylvia, your white poppy is lovely. Thanks for sharing.

    Always Growing

  • Zoë December 3, 2008, 3:24 am

    simply fabulous, I love the first photograph. I have a very similar one in my own garden called ‘Royal Wedding’ which is a stunner too. Amazing that they are flowering now though, there seems to be all sorts of bizarre flowerings at the moment!

    You will have to do more guest appearances!


  • Dee/reddirtramblings December 3, 2008, 4:22 am

    Hi Sylvia, I love your guest post and your beautiful, confused poppy. Poppies are a little iffy here. I planted some seeds last year, and nothing came up. Oh, well, I shall just have to gaze at yours instead. Good job on the post.~~Dee

  • Kathleen December 3, 2008, 7:20 am

    What a wonderful post and poppy. I’ve never seen a black & white poppy before but it’s going straight on my wish list too! I love B&W anythings! This is my first time visiting your blog too Pomona and it’s fabulous. So much information. I’m going to bookmark it. Beautiful post Sylvia.

  • Karrita December 3, 2008, 7:36 am

    Hi Pomona and Sylvia,
    First, the poppy is amazingly beautiful!
    What a delight to read your post Sylvia! Your garden is lovely and I do hope you soon will have the time for a blog.
    “I like the idea of guest bloggers.”
    Happy day to you both~

  • Pomona Belvedere December 3, 2008, 2:13 pm

    Sylvia and I are negotiating more of her guest appearances. One of the things I love about blogging is the connection with gardners all over the world (I must get a translator on this site. I keep putting them up and then finding out they are messed up in some way. Does anyone have recommendations?). I think it’s also interesting to see how the weather patterns are going around the world–my upcoming post is sort of a comment on Sylvia’s—my own out-of-season flowers.

  • Anne December 4, 2008, 9:28 am

    Pomona and Sylvia, what a delightful post! That poppy is incredible — have never seen that variety before! Sylvia, would love to see more pics of your re-done garden.

  • Nan Ondra December 4, 2008, 10:35 am

    Beautiful photos of beautiful blooms, Sylvia. How wonderful to see your first “official” blog post, and to read that we can hope for more contributions from you. Thanks, too, for bringing Tulips in the Woods to my attention!

  • Helen/patientgardener December 4, 2008, 12:57 pm

    Sylvia – great post. I really like that black and white poppy, its amazing that it flowered in November

  • I have the violets and they are blooming on sunny days still in Ohio between snowfalls and they seed and spread. My garden is full of them and I have tried to get them out. Its been a 3 year battle. It was my fault I introduced the cute suckers.

  • Pomona Belvedere December 8, 2008, 3:02 pm

    Violets in Ohio in December definitely beats my record. It’s true, they do spread like crazy–maybe our dry summers keep them a bit more in check than your year-round rain. I guess maybe having them in containers isn’t so bad!

  • Mr. McGregor's Daughter December 16, 2008, 5:35 pm

    Sylvia – wonderful post! I love the “black” & white Poppy. I’m a sucker Cyclamen and for that dark purple, so I just love the combo. Don’t you love when plants make an encore appearance?

  • kerri December 23, 2008, 5:46 am

    Hello Sylvia! How lovely to see a small glimpse of your garden! Poppies are so beautiful, however fleeting, and your white one is spectacular, especially combined with the cyclamen, iris and other surrounding plants. What a lovely surprise to have a bonus bloom from it in November! I hope we’ll see you more often here, and thanks for letting me know about your post. Thanks also to Pomona for her great idea of a guest post.
    Wishing you a very merry Christmas!

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