If there's no space or good place for a real peony in your garden, then try a poppy with huge flowers that look like a peony bloom! Poppies can be sown from seeds and enjoyed for years. After the blooms finish, you can leave the seed heads to self-sow or collect the seeds to plant in different locations. Pull out the poppy plant and you have space for summer annuals, too.
Papaver paeoniflorum 'Venus' (Paeony Flowered Poppy) was sown from seed in October 2008. It bloomed in May 2009 and self-sowed to return in May 2010. My seeds were purchased from Diane's Seeds for just a few dollars. Now, that's a rewarding plant investment!
Not only is the peony flowered poppy easy to grow and maintain—it is deer, rabbit and pest resistant. The poppies can grow anywhere from 30 to 48 inches high, but the base is narrow, allowing the plants to fill space between perennials. Once the foliage looks ragged, it's very easy to pull the plants without disturbing the surrounding perennials.
Last spring, I left only one peony poppy plant to reseed in the cottage garden. I have a nice display of seven poppies this year—around the blue-purple blooms nepeta, allium christophii, scabiosa and perennial heliotrope. I could never have created the design as well as Mother Nature!
|Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks/copyrights/patents owned by those respective companies or persons.|