A Cool Himalayan Blue

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Now here’s a change of style from our roadside show-offy red poppies posted earlier in the week: Meconoposis Lingholm, a blue Himalayan poppy.  It is a newcomer to the shady, behind-the-shed corner of the Farrell domain. I bought it  last autumn on-line from the very excellent Ballyrobert Gardens in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. (It’s amazing what excellent plants people you can discover in the gardening section of ebay.)

The poppy was little more than a large ‘plug’ when it arrived with the rest of my order. I dithered about, wondering whether to pot it on (and worry about it freezing in its pot if we had a hard winter) or to plant it out while it had time to establish itself, but still hope that we wouldn’t have a hard winter. I opted for the latter course, and then it poured with rain for the next five months, with hardly a sign of frost. And so I worried instead that it would get water-logged and rot. When it died down, leaving not one single trace of itself, I thought I’d lost it.

Which just goes to show you can do a lot of worrying about nothing. Besides, I knew very well that I’d taken the best care I could when I planted it. Anyway, the rather hairy leaves started poking through the mulch in April and the single bloom began opening about a week ago with another bud behind it. But what a floral wonder! I’m hoping it’s going to thrive now, though mostly only Graham will get the benefit. I planted it to give him a view from his shed window while he’s grinding and drilling and making odd constructions that only he understands.

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45 thoughts on “A Cool Himalayan Blue

  1. Tempted to say almost the loveliest of poppies. Presents also as faint pink sometimes according to the cognoscenti at Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania. Magnesium in the soil?

    Sarah

    1. Yes, now I’ve discovered them, there are a few varieties. I shall investigate further. There’s still some space in the flower bed. As to magnesium in the soil, that’s a good question, Sarah. Another thing to look into. Graham keeps telling me I should do a bit of soil analysis. I have a kit somewhere.

      1. Longwood Gardens not far from Philly breeds the Lingholm and perhaps others and forces them into bloom every March as a Conservatory display. They consider the cultivation of this poppy, which they believe possible but difficult in Northern Hemisphere gardens, to be a very fine skill indeed.

        Contact them if you like and have time in between your myriad plant duties about the secrets! Sarah

    1. Now you mention it, I remember that blue too and around 60 years ago too. Our guest bedroom at home had poplin curtains and heavy Indian cotton bedspread in just that shade. That woolen suit must have been heavenly – literally 🙂

      1. Yes it was. The story behind it was that I had a bright pink suit which was bought from the Co-op and I loved it so much that mom bought the blue material, totally unpicked the stitching on my pink suit so she could use the pieces as a pattern and then sewed it back up again. She was very industrious, bless her. ❤️

      2. A gorgeous sky blue. And I must join in the memories from 60+ years ago. When I came to NZ and married (at 18!!!) I brought with me a Chanel style, crimpalene 2 piece suit, edged with white and a ridiculous imitation flower bedecked flowerpot shaped hat and white gloves. (The first and only time I wore a hat.) oh the memories that beautiful Poppy brings back.

      3. I’m rather liking the notion of ‘poppy memories’, Pauline. I’m also thinking that Chanel-style suit with flowerpot hat would be quite a treasure these days. Lovely image.

  2. Oh, so lovely, they are not easy to grow so well done. I might attempt one myself though the S&S might have something to say. I have used Ballyrobert Garden nursery and they are excellent. Cheap postage too. And when I informed them that 3 plants failed to come back this spring they immediately dispatched replacements. Can’t ask for more.

    1. I think Ballyrobert are brilliant. And such a fab range of plants. Am hoping that the drought we’ve been having will keep the S & S at bay long enough for the plant to bulk up a bit. I’m thinking regular mulching with chippings might just help. (or not)

    1. Hello Saurab. We had a two day tempest after I wrote the post. It blew the petals clean off the poppy, but peaceful weather has now returned, and there’s a new bud forming 🙂

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