Take a moment and think......What image does it evoke in your mind when you think of the colors Orange and Purple? If you are like me, it conjures up an unfitting combination of clashing colors, disharmonious, even distasteful!
But in the design of nature it turns out to be quite the opposite, as in this planting of Dame's rocket, with Spanish poppy in the foreground. I wish I could take credit for this lovely pairing, but it was quite unplanned, and as is often the case in such circumstances, has an appealing cottage charm!
I got the orange Spanish poppy at a local Farmer's market last spring, and in an attempt to get it in the ground quickly, just plopped it in an empty spot in a flower bed I had created the previous year next to a garden shed. The shed, because it is on a slope, had to have several blocks placed under it to make it level. This left a huge gap between the ground and the bottom of the shed which, in my opinion, was quite unattractive! So my plan was to cover the gap with tall plants....which included the Dame's rocket for Spring and Hollyhocks for later in the season.
This delightful poppy (Papaver rupigragum) is a native of Spain. It has finely cut silvery blue foliage, and grows to about 2 ft. Most have single, soft orange flowers, but this particular plant is the double flowered form, which according to one source, is "rarely seen and even more rarely obtainable". I don't know yet if planting the seeds will produce double flowered plants, or if I will need to propagate by root cuttings, but I would like to have more plants like these!
The seed pods droop gracefully until they are ready to bloom. In this photo you can see some of the seed heads remaining after the petals have dropped. This poppy is said to flower off and on throughout the summer, though most other poppies flower only once in early summer. It will always have a home here in my flower gardens!