Behind the Bloom: Poppy
I find poppies incredibly showy with their crêpe-like pleated petals and their skinny, curvilinear stems.
And also a bit eccentric! They unfurl from their buds with rumpled panache. Then, their petals fall one by one after a few days in water. And hey, did you notice those hairy stems?
Poppies are beautiful, precious, yet gloriously awkward. It’s no wonder they have come to symbolize remembrance of young soldiers who died in the line of duty.
The season on poppies is short: early spring for imports and then again in the summer when local field-grown poppies come into bloom.
Purchase poppies with buds that are just starting to open. Look for colour in the crack between guard petals. If you recut them, sear the stem ends using an open flame or dip in boiling water for 7-10 seconds. Place treated stems immediately into fresh water.
Like a great bottle of wine, cut poppies don’t last that long, but they too are unforgettable!
• Rosie, owner Quince Flowers