Shaking the Seed


Behold the seed capsule of the poppy. Culled from this beautiful arrangement, I allowed these seed heads to dry in the hope of gaining some viable poppy seeds. Though this “florist poppy” was likely grown specifically for its globular form seen here, there has to be a bloom before that happens, so I’m rolling the dice and scattering some on the ground to see what may come up.

Never having had much luck with poppies, I’m not counting on anything. For some reason they have liked neither the clay soil of my parents’ home nor the sandy stuff of my subsequent houses. I’ve tried growing the fuzzy-leaved Oriental versions from potted plants and bare-roots, none of which ever deigned to bloom. Each would die a slow death after a season of decline and poor performance. Seeded “Flemish” poppies fared even more poorly, not even bothering to germinate.

These little maracas hold the promise of another start, but after such consistent failures it’s difficult to work up much hope.

Still, I dream of bright and bold blooms, of veiny petals streaked with enough color to raise a Renaissance painting from the dead.

We shall see what comes up, if anything.

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