In my climate, it’s time to plant poppies.
Anything that likes cool weather (and poppies do) is better fall-planted in places where cloudy-cool spring rapidly sizzles into dry and hot.
Earlier, I wrote a post about ‘Falling in Love’ Shirley poppies. But while Shirley poppies are by a small margin my favorite, I love other poppies. ‘Lauren’s Grape’ is one of them.
Even before the crumpled-shiny-wrapping-paper buds shed their green skins, the magic show starts. Poppies move: they open in day and close at night.
Their stems snake around in unexpected dimensions.
And they move around the world, not only because of their beauty, but because of their power. Lauren’s Grape is an opium poppy. (Somniferum means “sleep-producing”. Like Somnolent. And Sominex.) Opium, like all of life, has its bad and good sides. One of the good sides must be the incredible beauty of opium poppy foliage (I like it even better than Shirley poppy foliage; its smooth texture, its soft sea green).
A friend of mine gave me seed to a dark purple poppy much like Lauren’s Grape. (Due to disruptions of life, I don’t have pictures of that one.) His grandmother brought it over from Eastern Europe when she came to the United States.
In those days – and when you were that poor – emigrating to the United States meant going off the edge of the known world, never to return. The things you took were your only link with home: forever. The seeds you carried were the ones you held most dear, the ones you couldn’t imagine life without. The ones that meant home.