Since mankind first walked the meadows of the Middle East and many parts of Europe the wild “wind poppy” has covered the fields In a carpet of red each spring. In the language of flowers they represent “hope from Mother Earth” and the “renewal of life”.
Their rich colours have adorned spring festivals, weddings and religious events since ancient times. Many botanical historians consider it to be the biblical “lily of the field”.
These graceful wildflowers are botanically known as anemone coronaria. There are 70 related species and hundreds of modern hybrids that now grace gardens throughout the temperate world.
“Anemos” is the Greek word for wind which gives a clue to the growing conditions they prefer. Open, sunny spots with good air circulation suit them best. They also thrive in a variety of more sheltered locations and are a favourite winter cut flower for mild climates and the glasshouse.
Avoid close, humid, damp locations or rots and blights will set in.
Now is an excellent time to start planting the dry, tuberous roots. When planted in succession every couple of weeks over the next few months they provide bright, sparkling colour from autumn until late spring.
Tubers are Inexpensive to purchase but fresh stock should be planted each year. For best results provide a well drained, light soil enriched with aged manure, blood and bone and some superphosphate.
They need little care but respond remarkably well to liquid feeding as buds develop.
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