June 20, 2010

Purple patch...

I thought I would post a few pictures of the garden so you can see what is growing, (only wish I was a better photographer!). There is lots of purple at the moment - from almost black to palest lilac. So, bouquets have turned purpley too!


  1. Wow! Things have become even more beautiful here at Wild Acre during my couple weeks on the road! I've never seen such purple poppies before. Do you know the name of the variety? They are stunning.

  2. Hiya! You can't be far from Calafornia by now?? Thanks for your encouraging words, I really need to get some photography lessons though and move beyond the shoot and point stage. Stupid thing is I've got a really nice little Canon digital camera but I'mstill on the auto setting.

    Anyway, the poppy you like is fab! It is as tall as me and a sumptuous colour. I bought the seed from Sarah Raven's company - she is a real gardening guru over here, and it is a double black opium poppy called Papaver somniferum 'Black Beauty'. I may be wrong but I think I may have read somewhere that some US states have outlawed growing ornamental opium poppies?? Its a shame if so because they look so statuesque in the garden and the seed heads, (lovely soft grey/green shade), are gorgeous in a bouquet.

    Check out Sarah Raven's website, they sell amazing stuff for cut flowers and she's written some good books. I don't think they ship overseas yet but good for ideas and inspiration!

    Travel well, Belinda

  3. Just remembered how vast Utah and Nevada are and realise Napa may still be awhile coming!!

  4. Hi!!! Goodness, thank you for the name of that gorgeous (super tall!) poppy, and my apologies for the delayed response! I will definitely look into 'Black Beauty' seeds. Do you know what makes a poppy and opium poppy??" We have some oriental poppies in our garden, but they're just the run of the mill orange type.

    I am loooooving your poppy photos, the dancing seedpods especially. So fun and beautiful!

    Utah and Nevada were vast indeed! It's amazing how the states begin to stretch out as you head West . . . it definitely feels like frontier land, even now. Have you ever visited?

  5. Just checked for you (and myself, I love that with flowers the more you know the more you realise you don't know!!), oriental poppies, papaver orientale, are perennial and legal in the U.S., but my ones are opium poppies, papaver somniferum, (annuals) and sadly an arrestable offence to grow in the States. Gorgeous but not worth a run-in with the cops! That's probably why you didn't recognise them. They are completely legal here and grown in gardens quite a bit.

    What an incredible road trip you did - memories to stay with you forever I should think. I have been out west once, with my family as a teenager - texas, Vegas, Hoover Dam and Santa Monica - quite a random trip. Everything seemed bigger,brighter, sunnier than over here!

    A couple of years ago, we took our four kids to see friends in New York and rural New Jersey (nr Penn border),and they felt exactly the same! They tried to persuade us to move, but family, friends and soft green lawn underfoot keep us here! We have lived in Asia and travelled quite a bit, but at some point you just start really valuing your roots and history - at least that's my feeling. Maybe when our kids are all grown up we'll get the urge to move on somewhere new...(I'm not convinced!). Anyway never say never!

    Hope this new chapter of your life works out brilliantly, Belinda

  6. Alas, another industry foiled by the US and its irrational narcotics policies. My mom says sheepishly, "Maybe she could send you some seeds . . . ?" Don't worry, she's not serious; we agree a run in with the cops is no way to start a new business! We will enjoy the forbidden poppies vicariously through your blog.

    I heartily agree with your sentiments on settling back in your hometown area. Coming back here was always in my master plan but it was wonderful to try out the Midwest and East Coast - which certainly felt like different countries to me!

    I'd love to travel some yet,though, especially visiting gardens. Have you ever been to Christopher Lloyd's Great Dixter? That is something I'd love to see!

  7. Travelling is just the most enormous privilege and fun! and less traumatising than moving house! The more you can do before the patter of tiny feet the better was what we felt, so we really packed it in.

    So ashamed to say that I have only seen the late Christopher Lloyd's garden in magazines and TV - I would love to visit, but my family can't bear the thought of visiting gardens, so I haven't seen as many as I'd like. Christopher died a few years ago, but his right hand man has carried on his work, but I do wonder if a little of the magic may have gone with the grand old man of English gardening.

    You should come over for a garden visiting holiday - so many amazing places to see, often together with staggering, ancient houses and castles etc. And the compulsory English afternoon teas!! Let me know if you ever decide to do it - know lots of gorgeous places to stay and see and you are welcome to visit. June and early July is a great time to be here for gardens, and early september - both periods out of the school holidays and perfect for gardens. My parents rent out a lovely 16century flint house near the North Norfolk coast which is glorious - and some beautiful gardens and places to visit....

  8. 16th century??? As in the 1500s??? My goodness! When I moved Out East I was thrilled to see things from the 18th century and occaaaaasionally the 17th. If I do make the trip I will definitely be seeking your recommendations on where to go and stay. Clearly, I would love, love, love to visit for the history, scenery, and gardens. And I am ALL for afternoon tea.

    On reading your advice on ideal travel dates, I was struck with a glimmer of excitement . . . maybe I could go THIS September??? But alas, there is a wedding already, which may be true of all those prime times. How are things in January through April?

    Too bad about your family not tolerating garden visits! Though I can't say much, since I'm sure that (in my younger years) my less than enthusiastic attitude deterred Mom from visiting more than a few gardens. How little is your littlest little one? Might you ever have the opportunity to strike out on your own garden tour?

  9. The house in Norfolk, in its oldest part dates from the end of the 1500s. You can see photos of it if you google, Westgate House, Binham, North Norfolk. If you really feel like a historical distraction for a few minutes, there is an awesome ruined monastery in the village, a minute's walk from the house, that dates from the 11 century. The Church is in great shape and is the present day parish church but the other buildings were knocked down by the soldiers of Henry 8th when he was trying to rid England of catholicism. The ruins are still spectacular - the soldiers didn't finish the job off completely - and all the old rooms are still visible in their early medieval layout. Google Binham Priory for details and photos - a Norfolk Archeological website has details I think. Amazing place!

  10. Wow. I took a look at some photos and read a bit about the monastery and I am entranced. I love the ruins- it seems they might be easier for a visitor to explore than would be an intact (and probably sealed off) historical structure. Again, I am in awe of the age of the place. Just amazing.