Shirley you love poppies …

I really feel I need to apologize to any faithful readers who—well, who just don’t give a damn about poppies. Because I am, at the moment, in total poppy heaven, and since it’s impossible for me to imagine anyone NOT loving poppies, I’m just going to go ahead and keep taking photos of them and posting about them for as long as they’re blooming. So there.

This is the first of my Shirley poppies to bloom. When I first began gardening, I thought they were called “Shirley poppies” because they’re so frilly and girly. Hah. Turns out they’re called Shirley poppies because they were originally bred by a proper British vicar, the Reverend William Wilks, of the parish of Shirley, England. He found a variant form of the wild red “corn poppy” growing in one of his garden beds near what the Brits call a “corn” field but for us would be a wheat field. The variant had a white rim around it. Wilks, one of that diligent group of 1800s genetic plant pioneers, painstakingly bred and crossbred its seeds to develop a strain without the black blotch at the center in colors ranging from white to pink to purple and red.

Shirley poppies may be my favorites of all poppies. Oh, I should not say that! I love all my poppies equally, really I do. Each day, whatever has bloomed is my favorite. But this pretty lady struck me as particularly graceful and lacy, so I snapped her. There was a slight breeze, which kicked up her skirts like Marilyn Monroe’s. 🙂


1 Comment

  1. mcclaughry said,

    June 22, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I had no idea poppies came in that color, what fun! Thanks for posting this picture.


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