Friday, July 27, 2018


Last fall, I picked up a package of eschscholzia seeds at the glass boutique on the grounds of the Seattle Center. I broadcast them onto bare areas of the garden and scuffled them into the ground with an old claw-like wire rake. A thin layer of leaves protected the seed from birds, and I forgot about the planting until spring.

The first time I lifted my head to the garden as winter itself lifted, I was dismayed. The front bank had been drastically cleared of a snowberry infestation last summer, and there were no signs of life under the deteriorating mulch. Two weeks later, sprouts appeared, and the poppies made a good showing a couple of weeks after that.

This strain of California's state flower appears to be a choice one. Color ranges from white to a sharp reddish orange. After flowering, the foliage shows the usual signs of mildew, but the plant appears to outgrow it. Usually I cut poppy when mildew appears, but the flowers of this batch of seed were so gratifying, I held off. As seed set, the stems of the bushy plant curved inward like tumbleweed, and it dried to a gratifying form. The life cycle of this strain is interesting enough that I plan simply to leave it alone and see what happens next season -30-

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