I have been so excited over the last couple of weeks to see my lovely Oriental Poppy 'Checkers' in bud. You may feel that this is a slightly odd thing, but I have had a long relationship with this plant. I have grown it from seed and nurtured it, first on the windowsill, then potting it on and worrying about whether it would survive the winters. Once it was big enough, I planted it out in the border and then worried about whether it was in the right place, then whether it would survive last winter (which it obviously did!). Then, this Spring, I worried about whether it was too dry and whether it was growing and whether it would produce any buds. Now, perhaps, you can understand my excitement. (Looking at the buds, it bears a strong resemblance to 'Audrey 2' in the film "Little Shop of Horrors", but I won't be feeding it what Seymour had to!)
This morning, I went out in the garden, as I do, to have a good look at things and check on pests and diseases, and whether my pots need watering and was literally stopped in my tracks by an open flower.
It is absolutely beautiful, with dark purple blotches at the base of the petals and silky folded petals in a pure white. I know the flower won't last long, but I am so proud of my achievement, I had to immortalise it in a photo. (There are still another five buds on the plant, so hopefully I'll be enjoying it for a little while longer.) What a fantastic start to the weekend.