The MGS Forum

Plants for mediterranean gardens => Annuals => Topic started by: Fermi on November 08, 2013, 08:53:52 AM

Title: California Poppies
Post by: Fermi on November 08, 2013, 08:53:52 AM
California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica) are a favourite annual here as they never need supplementary watering!
All the colours are great but the softer lemon and creams are a delight
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Umbrian on November 09, 2013, 10:13:53 AM
Yes, and they seed about freely filling spots where weeds might flourish. Love the soft, ferny, glaucous leaves too. I still love catching one just about to burst into flower and gently removing its "cap" as I used to do as a child. :)
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Fermi on November 11, 2013, 08:38:29 AM
Here are a few of the different colours in our garden,cheers
fermi
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Umbrian on November 11, 2013, 06:01:39 PM
Beautiful Fermi, I love the dark red bud.... One year I tried some more exotic mixes - "oriental " I think they were called with frilly petals and many different colours but they did not do well and I am happy to have the more "common or garden" ones
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: MikeHardman on November 12, 2013, 05:00:51 PM
mmm - sumptuous, Fermi!

A friend has just given me some seed, telling me they like rich soil and adequate watering.
Anyone dis/agree?
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Jill S on November 12, 2013, 07:18:14 PM
Do they ?? perhaps this is where I'm going wrong, I think they're lovely plants in other peoples gardens but have never managed any success with them myself. Perhaps they simple don't appreciate my dry and mean regime, but this can change!
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Umbrian on November 13, 2013, 07:47:31 AM
I have used them in the areas bordering our car parking area - poor, compacted soil covered with gravel. Here they seed freely and flower on and off all through the summer providing lower growing interest amongst the Verbena bonariensis, various Achillea etc.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Fermi on November 13, 2013, 08:09:19 AM
A friend has just given me some seed, telling me they like rich soil and adequate watering.
Anyone dis/agree?
Hi Mike,
what they like and what they get is two different things ;D
We don't water these intentionally and that way they are a great cover for dormant bulbs; but they don't object to being watered and dead-headed and fed a bit (but not too much or I think you'd get foliage at the expense of flowers) but without any extra attention they still do pretty well. They seem to like growing in gravelly soil in our raised beds,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: John J on November 14, 2013, 06:05:48 AM
Mike, they have become naturalised in areas of the Troodos Forest and have been used by the Forestry Dept in the reforestation programme of the Amiandos asbestos mines. There they are in poor soil and get no supplementary watering and are thriving.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Daisy on November 18, 2013, 07:01:51 AM
Lovely photos Fermi. Thank-you.
I am interested in Umbrian's comment that hers flower on and off all summer.
In England they flowered all summer long, but I have found, here in Crete mine flower well in spring, but by early summer they have finished until the following year. ??? ??? ???
Daisy :)
 
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: jmw on November 18, 2013, 08:18:18 AM
In Central Otago, New Zealand, Californian poppies are a wonderful sight at present, growing wild on dry gravelly sites. I live very near the 45th parallel, where our annual rainfall can be as low as 280mm. We haven't had rain for a month and the poppies are glorious.There is the odd creamy white flowered plant, plus the typical deep orange and a yellow/orange mix.Tourists frequently stop to take photographs of the brilliant colours. Sedum acre flowers next and the hills will turn yellow. I have a seed collecting friend who harvests  and threshes many kilograms of stonecrop seed for export the Germany each summer.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: MikeHardman on November 18, 2013, 01:35:12 PM
Glorious indeed!
Thanks for letting us see the spectacle.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: jmw on November 19, 2013, 10:28:15 AM
Thanks Mike - with good drainage, dry air, full sun and minimal competition you should find them easy to grow. They seem to like what I call 'elbow room'.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: MikeHardman on November 19, 2013, 12:25:04 PM
Jo - thanks - guidance appreciated and duely noted.
I have a sparse bank in mind...
Only trouble is, it is below my Gauras (vivid pink ones, as in my recent posting), and I can't quite see in my mind's eye if the colours would work together or not. I think it's worth the risk!
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Fermi on November 20, 2013, 12:37:50 PM
Jo - thanks - guidance appreciated and duely noted.
I have a sparse bank in mind...
Only trouble is, it is below my Gauras (vivid pink ones, as in my recent posting), and I can't quite see in my mind's eye if the colours would work together or not. I think it's worth the risk!
Hi Mike,
would you like me to collect seed off the pink ones for you?
Send me a PM with your address if you would.

Jo,
That's a wonderful sight! We have gazanias doing something similar in parts of central Victoria, mostly along the roadsides,

cheers
fermi
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: jmw on November 22, 2013, 03:54:59 AM
Wild Caliornian poppies mostly seem to germinate in autumn here and overwinter as small plants, although I do get some popping up in spring. I have just planted some Eschscholzia lobbii out in my unwatered gravel garden, so looking forward to them flowering.
http://www.srgc.org.uk/logs/logdir/2011Jun251309019416Log_7_of_2011.pdf (http://www.srgc.org.uk/logs/logdir/2011Jun251309019416Log_7_of_2011.pdf)
Cheers Jo
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Alisdair on November 28, 2013, 12:30:08 PM
We sowed a lot of California poppy seed (after the MGS meeting in California a few years ago), in a stony dry part of our hot Greek garden. They came up and flowered quite abundantly in their first spring. Only a few of the resulting seeds germinated, though, so the following year there were far fewer plants. In the third year there were none.
So it'll be interesting to see whether your sowing increases through the following generations, Mike, or dwindles away as ours did. I suspect your garden has slightly more generous conditions for them than ours, if not so generous as in Jo's wonderful Central Otago pictures.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: MikeHardman on November 28, 2013, 03:31:17 PM
Alisdair,
Thanks; useful to know. I shall be sowing very soon, and keeping notes on developments, hopefully with some photos to share. I have some other seeds to sow in the same place (eg. bright red flax), so it will be interesting to see which do best.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Alisdair on November 28, 2013, 05:57:52 PM
If your bright red flax is the so-called Algerian flax, Linum grandiflorum, we were rather surprised when one of our Californian seed mixes turned out to have included this: it did actually persist for us for more years than the Californian natives, and was a splendid splash of colour that blended surprisingly well with the subtler tones of Greek natives.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Jill S on November 28, 2013, 08:04:54 PM
It may be perverse but in a way I'm glad to know that I'm not alone in being unable to have flourishing drifts of these lovely, EASY, flowers. I keep trying every few years when the memory of their disappearence is a thing of the past. It would seem that the common factor is hot, dry, stony and Greek, in my case adding in 'windy' and 'island'.

Ho, Hum, on to the next try, I really fancy the creamy coloured ones interspersed with Chicory, or maybe blue flax.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: MikeHardman on November 28, 2013, 09:12:11 PM
Alisdair,
Linum graniflorum - yes, that's the one.

Other folks,
Alisdair originally posted about this plant here - http://www.mgsforum.org/smf/index.php?topic=67.0 (a bit more info).
There are selected strains, such as 'Rubrum' (http://www.thompson-morgan.com/flowers/flower-seeds/hardy-annual-seeds/linum-grandiflorum-rubrum/1288TM). I don't know if the parents of my seeds were the species or not, but I do know they were stunning in flower.
If my upcoming sowing comes to anything, it will also be an interesting test of retention of viability, since it is 3 years since I collected it.

I'm tempted to apologise for drifting off-topic.
But perhaps it is still on-topic...
...With which other plants might calpops associate well?
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Fermi on December 02, 2013, 12:33:13 AM

...With which other plants might calpops associate well?

Hi Mike,
we use them extensively to grow over dormant bulbs because they don't need to be watered in the summer. However they'll also grow where they get a bit of summer watering, in which case they continue flowering a lot longer.
Here's a couple of pics taken this morning where they are growing with Allium acutiflorum and Calochortus splendens which are still flowering at the beginning of summer as we had a relatively wet (for us!) spring; the last pic is with Ixia rouxii which is a late flowering South African with black centres,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Fermi on December 02, 2013, 12:42:52 AM
And as you can see they associate well with Euphorbia rigida/myrsinites and the hybrids between them. They tend to be crowded out by E. pithyusa which also grows in this area of the garden,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: MikeHardman on December 02, 2013, 08:00:33 AM
Fermi,
Lovely; thanks for that; very nice.
I have in mind sprinkling some Nigella amongst my sowings, to add to the medley of colour while keeping an airy feeling to it all.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Jill S on December 05, 2013, 09:01:55 PM
Mike, having just seen Daisy's pics of her Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light' (lovely!) it occurred to me that it might provide a super addition/contrast to your planting of the poppies etc. as well as giving interest if they go out of flower.
Jill
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: MikeHardman on December 05, 2013, 10:38:45 PM
Jill,
Thanks for the thought.
But actually, I specifically want not to plant grasses in the calpops area. That's because there are plenty of weed grasses that will colonize it (already in the soil as roots and seeds), and I want to be able to control them with selective weedkiller (gramicide); I use Fusilade.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Jill S on December 06, 2013, 01:27:04 AM
and that's a never ending struggle, at least on the bit of ground I try to cultivate. Do you have to keep applying your herbicide? or is it residual in the soil?
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: MikeHardman on December 06, 2013, 09:25:46 AM
It (Fusilade) is non-persistent in the soil, systemic.

'My' worst grasses are:
- A big clump-forming one, which is impossible for other herbage to compete with.  ...Though in some wild areas, it reaches an equilibrium where the plants fill an area as much as they can - but that leaves individual plants spaced-out. In turn, that creates miniature open glades with a light canopy. In spring, those glades can be like a fairyland because they fill with Anemones in pastel shades of pink, blue and white.
- Bermuda grass. I would like this, because it is not too tall, it is exceedingly good at running and binding the soil, and remains green for a lot of the year. But its runners are too prone to invade adjacent areas, and it spreads by seed as well. I do have a rough area where it is somewhat established, and where I may permit it (trees and shrubs will be the main plantings there). But I daren't allow it in the calpops patch, where it could also be too dense for the calpops, et al. to get going. I say 'could' because it does occur to me that the calpops would be starting to grow when the Bermuda grass was subsiding for the winter.
Title: Re: Graminicides to kill grass weeds among annuals
Post by: Alisdair on December 06, 2013, 05:05:23 PM
Mike had some further comments on using selective weedkillers to control grasses which I have split off into a separate thread in the Pesticides section on graminicides (http://www.mgsforum.org/smf/index.php?topic=1605).
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on February 11, 2014, 07:15:49 AM
Any news on the autumn sowing of Eschscholzia ? I've never had any luck with them but encouraged by this tread I've just bought a packet of mixed singe and sprinkled them around a newly planted part of the garden where there's lots of room still between plants.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Umbrian on February 11, 2014, 07:51:13 AM
All my "autumn sowings" of Californian Poppies are self seeded and they are very strong and healthy this year due to the mild, if wet, winter we are experiencing. Hope yours succeed Fleur because once you have them they will do the job for you in future years. :)
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Charithea on February 11, 2014, 01:41:12 PM
Hi from sunny Cyprus. I have California poppies growing in different places. I was disappointed with the previous year's growth therefore I have sprinkled 5 packets of them in the Autumn and in one area is so jam packed you can hardly see the oxalis growing. Good luck Fleur.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on February 11, 2014, 06:51:36 PM
Thank you both for the encouraging news.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Daisy on May 12, 2014, 10:50:25 AM
I have a Californian Poppy that is perennial!
It is just one plant that I sowed four years ago from a mixture of doubles.
It virtually disappears over winter, then grows again the following spring.
I thought at first that it had seeded in exactly the same place as it's parent, but this year I watched it closely.
If it were a new seedling each year, it would have reverted by now.
Has anyone else found one that is perennial?
Daisy :)

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7426/13980559630_ee78166e11_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/niq2iy)may 2014 086 (https://flic.kr/p/niq2iy) by Daisyincrete (https://www.flickr.com/people/93752583@N02/), on Flickr
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Fermi on October 09, 2014, 11:20:23 AM
Hi Daisy,
we do get some which resprout but they don't tend to last too many years - I think they get a bit woody and get susceptible to rot and disease.
The poppies are in full  swing again now,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Fermi on October 09, 2014, 11:26:32 AM
Just a couple more:
the yellow is a lovely shade without the harshness of the typical orange form,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Alisdair on October 10, 2014, 01:26:05 PM
You've got some amazing shades there. Do they seed themselves in your garden? We tried them in Greece, in a garden that's hot and completely dry for at least six or seven months, but though they did reseed very thinly the following year they then died out.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Umbrian on October 11, 2014, 06:21:56 AM
I tried a selection of seeds named "Oriental Silk" or something like that after having success with the ordinary orange ones but they germinated poorly,flowered sparsely and then died out. I still get ample self seeded ones from my original orange plants and so have to be satisfied with them. I have tried transplanting them when very young but they never really settle and make good plants and so I just enjoy them where they choose to appear - not always in the most convenient places :)
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Caroline on October 11, 2014, 07:51:07 AM
I grow Californian poppies in my Rubble Garden, so-called because it's where the builder stockpiled sand and gravel.  I started with a packet of standard orange, and another of mixed softer shades.  They now self-sow (sometimes in the most unlikley places, as Umbrian suggests), but orange does seem to predominate.  And yes, some of them overwinter, until they get too leggy and woody and I cut them out. Here's a photo of the Rubble Garden, which I have never watered and which is exposed to the worst of the wind.

Caroline
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on October 14, 2014, 06:32:22 AM
What a wonderful site you have for your garden!
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: anita on October 14, 2014, 02:16:40 PM
I have had success in restricting the poppies that come up in the gardens to a soft yellow, with some with pink outer petal tints as Fermi has shown. I absolutely ruthlessly rogued out any bright oranges as soon as the blooms showed colour, thereby preventing bees from spreading the brighter genes. It took about six years but I no longer have the bright oranges although all my plants are self seeded each year.  I'm into the sixth year without any reversions to orange. OCD is my middle name  😃 Anita
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Caroline on October 15, 2014, 08:23:35 AM
Thanks Anita, you remind me that I now need to be more ruthless and select only the colours I want :).  But when I moved in nearly three years ago, the house was surrounded by what seemed like an ocean of yellow sticky clay and stones.  So I warmed to anything that was prepared to grow under difficult conditions - and now I have orange Californian poppies popping up in the most unlikely places!  There is a huge one twined around an artichoke in the vegetable garden which I must steel myself to remove.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Fermi on October 18, 2014, 02:23:56 PM
You've got some amazing shades there. Do they seed themselves in your garden? We tried them in Greece, in a garden that's hot and completely dry for at least six or seven months, but though they did reseed very thinly the following year they then died out.
Alisdair,
These California poppies have been mixing their genes for a number of years and self-seeding each year. I wish I could be as ruthless as Anita in roguing out the ordinary orange ones! We do have some terracotta orange ones and I don't mind them. Each year is a waiting game to see what colours turn up and I think there are new shades this year. Although we think of our climate as harsh I doubt that we go a whole six months without any rain. We try not to water the areas where the poppies grow as they are mostly where there are dormant bulbs underground which wouldn't want to be in wet soil when their roots aren't in active growth. Where the poppies get some summer moisture I think they flower for longer,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Fermi on October 27, 2014, 08:04:23 AM
This is the latest "colour break" - I don't think I've seen it here before - a deep orange-red,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Charithea on October 27, 2014, 08:17:10 AM
Hello  Fermi. Thanks for the beautiful photos. It is a lovely way to start the week. We had a thunderstorm 2 days ago , did not last long but there is enough water to encourage my seeds to come up. I have sweet peas and Californian poppies. I will post photos if I have any success.
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Alisdair on November 19, 2014, 08:56:15 AM
Wow, what an amazing colour, Fermi! I've been absent from the forum for ages, either tied up with MGS admin stuff or busily planting out in Greece, so this is a very colourful and tempting welcome back for me as I start trying to catch up!
Title: Re: California Poppies - 2016
Post by: Fermi on November 11, 2016, 11:59:46 AM
A good season for the California Poppies!
Here are some close-ups,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Fermi on September 30, 2018, 11:37:58 AM
The Californian poppies have started again!
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Umbrian on September 30, 2018, 11:59:08 AM
They are a real joy and so easy - a must for colour in a Mediterranean garden.....
Title: Re: California Poppies
Post by: Charithea on September 30, 2018, 02:23:17 PM

They certainly are beautiful. They smell of Spring. I re read all the postings on this subject and thought how different 'gardeners' faired with them.  I started growing them in 2013, had some success in 2014 after I had purchased several packets of them and sprinkled them in a large area.  I continued every year  trying different areas where the cats would not roll or fight on them and finally we have two patches of them which seem to  have increased in size the last 2 years. They have started to regrow now as the evenings are getting cooler. I think we only have yellow orange coloured ones.  Spring was such a long time ago so I can't remember.