Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Flamboyant: French, present participle of flamboyer  to flame.  Strikingly bold or brilliant; showy, dashing and colorful, elaborately styled.

Yes, and maybe even a little trashy. I brought home this Oriental Poppy plant in a box from the garden nursery three years ago.  A lot of perennials don't bloom the first year so when I saw no blossoms I wasn't surprised.  But when the plant started to look sick and threatened to keel over the next spring I was puzzled.  Then I realized the whole area had become a depository for kitty poo.   When the weather was cold and ugly I'd scrubbed out Thomas's litter box and absently tossed the dregs there, unwittingly marking the territory.

So I dug out and removed as much dirt from around the tainted area as I could and replaced it with potting soil.  Then, for insurance, I dumped a bunch of cayenne pepper on top.  It appeared the preventative measures worked,

but I still had to wait another whole summer and winter 
before there were promises of blossoms.

The first flashy flower almost exploded when it finally decided to open. 

By noon it was starting to look a little like a floozy on her way home from a gig.

She may look a little overdressed for my garden but I still like her.  The Oriental Poppy is a hybrid with the Latin name of Papaver orientale; close but not the same as the Papaver somniferum or opium poppy.  As much as I appreciated the morphine I got while recovering from surgery, I'd sure hate to be arrested for growing a controlled substance.

On a totally unrelated subject.  I ran across a video on the internet that claimed Mountain Dew could be made to glow in the dark by mixing it with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. It looked like a really cool trick.

But I did a little more checking.  Snopes says it is a total scam.  So don't waste a good soft drink trying to turn it into a giant glow stick.


Anairam said...

I love those poppies with their papery red petals - they are a perfect mix of boisterousness and fragility, I think.
The AFrikaans word for poppy is "papawer" - I did not realise it was from the Latin!

Terry and Linda said...

I love poppies! I wish I had them all summer long!


Debbie said...

i think she is beautiful...a real "pop" of color!!

good thing you did not give up on her, you would have missed out on this garden surprise!!!

Buttons Thoughts said...

I love poppies they last but a short while though too bad. I would so have tried that mountain dew thing. B

Carla said...

Beautiful poppy!! I'm going to show my stupidity---I thought poppies were annuals and only came back from seeds dropped the previous year.

I do love a person that checks Snopes before sharing things. :)

susan m hinckley said...

I love a person who checks but still shares it anyway -- now you just left me intrigued and wondering what they DID do to make that cool giant glowing thing??!!

I love poppies, and yours look beautiful, Leenie! Thanks for sharing!

Anzu said...

Congratulation on blooming your oriental poppy, which has ruffled petals with reflecting surface.
The flower has a miraculous beauty.
Please allow me to tell about a beloved cat we lost, his name, Keshi(芥子)owed to oriental poppy.
Thank you for sharing !!

Anonymous said...

Bought a bouquet of colourful poppies for daughter this evening, and have just returned home to read this. We are looking after her cat (indefinitely?)and I think we may have the problem with small garden versus kitty poo. I originally had great plans for the patch she favours.
I would have been conned with the Mountain Dew experiment. I'm still scratching my head how we became conned into taking the cat!

Samantha said...

Love poppies! My grandmother had tons of orange poppies in her garden..they remind me of flamenco dancers.

Anonymous said...

Sadly this year, our poppies had only just flowered when they were devastated by heavy rain and strong winds!

Sarah said...

Beautiful poppy. I am always a bit sad that they are so short lived, but they do make up for it with their showiness.
When I read Mountain Dew I missed the capitals and thought of dew collected from the mountains!

THe building in the background is the Millenium Dome-built to celebrate the milennium-it had loads of exhibitions in it. Now it is called the O2 and has restaurants, cinemas and is an entertainment venue-music mainly.
A skip is a giant rubbish bin! YOu hire them and they are collected every so often and emptied. YOu can find all sorts of treasures in them! Is it what you call a dumpster?

Linda Sue said...

Poppies are my faves- opium also - good thing it is illegal and impossible to obtain - I would die for sure. Pepper cured the soil? WOW! I could grow magnificent poppies out by the beach- neglect and sunshine- here not so much- they don't like this house...projection much?

Anonymous said...

Wow - that poppy is so deliciously red!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Let's just say that tjhat poppy sure knows how to advertise its presence.