Gardener Involvement Required


Here is a clump of self-seeded poppies in my vegetable garden last year: IMG00013

Spectacular, no? Here they are this year:


Single is clearly a dominant trait, and they are losing their super-doubleness and reverting to singles. I plan on ruining the display by cutting the heads off of every insufficiently bomb-like poppy, and allowing only the most explosive to seed.


  1. I like the single ones better, too. But then I usually do. I also prefer single peonies, hollyhocks, etc.
    I don’t understand the passion for bigger and double flowers at all.

  2. I am learning that what ever genetically they do (or however they change plant natural behavior) the true nature of things is often stronger. The seeds from “altered” plants usually doesn’t produce the altered plant. So, I’m thinking those doubles you love were single in God created form and man messed with them to make them doubles…I’ve seen these changes don’t always remain.

    I bought the most gorgeous rose bushes from well known companies. One was a long sten variety with awesome violet-purple blossoms that had a heavenly scent. This plant thrived in my garden for 2 years. Last year it never bloomed. This year it was full of buds in lat spring and I was so excited. Well, to my heartbreaking dismay, what blossomed were these truly ugly looking small rose flowers, ugly shade of red, no scent at all and were more like a wild climbing variety. Ouch !! Evidently they did a graft that didn’t last.
    Same thing happened to another gorgeous long stem rose bush I bought. It seemed to have “died” with no growth, but when I dug it up the roots showed life so I replanted it. What came up was a rose bush that didn’t flower for 2 years. This year it did….large almost grape-like clusters of white small flowers with yellow centers. The bush was covered with them. The scent was incredibly wonderful. But, it was the expensive rose I payed for. The worst thing is, I’ve learned this type of rose bush is considered invasive and on the list of “no no plants”… Great : they used an invasive species to graft a beautiful rose onto…..

  3. your website’s too fun! i just came across it (thru a suggestion in a gardening magazine)… and look forward to spending more time here. unfortunately am still dealing w/ dial-up, so i won’t get to see as much as i’d like.
    what an encouragement to see that it’s ok not to have a perfectly organized flower garden (not even close) — yay!!!! i hope to share your link w/ friends. (o: thanks!

  4. We can not grow poppies here, but I absolutely love the double ones. Just as my passion is for English roses with tons of petals, any flower with full, lush blooms touch my heart…

  5. I always keep the display and just deadhead the ones I like less (of poppies, columbine, and all my other self-sowers) though I can’t decide about poppies — I think the singles are a tad prettier, but the doubles last so much longer and look so amazing in a vase.

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