This article should really have been given another title, such as "Poppies – or why they always appear in a different place to that originally intended for them". The poppy is also known as the coquelicot or Flanders poppy. My wife sows poppies every year. These are mostly very special varieties, which can be purchased in packets only after showing personal identification. After sowing, I observe the same process that I have witnessed over the past years – the poppies don't emerge or appear only sparsely at the places that we intended for them in the garden.

However, we don't have to search for them for long as they then appear more abundantly and completely randomly at places in which we would never expect them, such as on our so-called "slug hills", which didn't get their name without reason.

As you can imagine, this is all a little frustrating. Thank heavens that I have a certified garden therapist in the form of my wife. So we accept the situation as it is. Resistance is futile anyway. And we certainly don't want to do without the wonderful poppies. Anyone who has ever looked across a field of poppies will understand us. For many garden enthusiasts, the poppy is even the most beautiful of flowers.

The presence of a lime-rich loam in your garden is advantageous for the growth of poppies. The decorative plants prefer places that are extremely warm in summer. However, as described above, a targeted "poppy placement" is extremely difficult if not impossible to achieve. Another interesting, less well known fact about the poppy is that it is a deep-root plant and its roots can reach a depth of up to one metre.

If you are looking for other "flashes" or splashes of colour for your garden or meadow, here is a simple tip that provides for special highlights: Loosely distributed blue lupines create colourful accents of a very special type. Those who prefer blue and white can resort to the common camas, which is available in these colours. As always, I hope you have a colourful and enjoyable summer!

Baron Robert von Süsskind
VIKING garden expert

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