Eschscholzia californica, a favorite in our garden but always a challenge in the spelling department, how can a word have so many consonants and still be pronounceable? It is probably safer to stick with California Poppy, this particular one is called Jelly Beans. Flowers and sweets, perfect. We also grow a beautiful buttermilk coloured variety (name lost in the seas of time) and the bog standard, but equally wonderful, pure orange. Appropriately, it is the state flower of California and 6 April is officially California Poppy Day (diaries out folks!). If only I had known we could have had a party. In this country it is generally classed as an annual but in reality it is a tender perennial which in milder areas can be over-wintered. We have varying success but generally it is the wet that “does” for them as opposed to the cold. They conveniently seed themselves far and wide and as the foliage all looks the same (to a mere mortal anyway) it is always a surprise which variety will emerge out of the greenish-grey ferny foliage. Transplanting is fraught with danger so to avoid disappointment I would just leave them to get on with it where ever they land. I’m not sure if I should be telling you this, but apparently an extract from this poppy is a sedative when smoked. Unfortunately it doesn’t say how to produce this extract and anyway I am probably sedate enough as it is.
For anyone following the story, Crazy Golf is on!