OPG diary – June 2021

3 June
National Volunteers Week. Thank you for the muffins Charlton House!

CABAHS volunteers celebrating National Volunteers Week 2021 in the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House

Rheum and foxgloves in the Long Border (foxgloves courtesy of Greenwich Park – thank you!):

Rheum and foxgloves in the Long Border at Charlton House gardens, June 2021

30 June
The pomegranate is flowering in the Peace Garden (top left) the stag beetles are hatching and marching, there is a lovely Malope trifida ‘Vulcan’ annual in the Long Borders (bottom left) and the gravel garden has a new addition of Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ to add some more zing!

Pomegranate, stag beetle, Malope, Geum - in Charlton House gardens, June 2021

Our Papaver orientale ‘Burning Heart’ have exploded into flower this week. They are fabulous plants, look at the size of them! They came as bare roots, all the way from West Lothian. Thank you Binny Plants.

Papaver orientale 'Burning Heart' in the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, June 2021

Blackheath Flower Club remembers

Sian’s latest Newsletter to the members of the Blackheath Flower Club:

Here we are in Lockdown once more, on remembrance day 11/11/2020. Elizabeth Crawley’s great granddaughter, Daisy, wrote this moving poem when she was 10, she is 17 now:

Earl Haig founded the Royal British Legion in 1921 adopting the poppy as its emblem. He ordered 9 million poppies from a French woman, Anna Guerin, and sold them on 11th November, 1921. That first ‘Poppy Appeal’ raised over £106, 000 to help veterans with housing and jobs. To ensure plenty of poppies for the next appeal a Poppy Factory was set up to employ disabled ex-servicemen.

Everyone has been busy decorating churches and windows with poppies etc: Richard put a collage of petals in his window, Yvonne decorated Saint Alfege’s, I put a display in Ascension Church.

Meanwhile, in Westminster Abbey, NAFAS (National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies) Ladies (lead by Kathy Stangaard, who has demonstrated regularly at Blackheath and Mottingham Clubs) put foliage round the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. They also made a posy for Camilla to put on the Tomb. Also they were asked to place a rose🌹on 82 chairs for the only guests allowed. They heard Jools Holland and Ruby Turner practising ‘Abide with me’. The picture of decorating the Tomb was on BBC news, but no mention of NAFAS…

The British tomb of the Unknown Warrior holds an unidentified British soldier killed on a European battlefield during the First World War. He was buried in Westminster Abbey on 11th November 1920, simultaneously with a similar interment of a French unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

…We will remember them.

A view from my kitchen table II

Seeding itself in the gravel and containers in my garden is the exquisitely beautiful, native, Welsh Poppy (Meconopsis cambrica).
With its delicate, buttery-yellow and orange flowers and fern-like foliage, this plant is a must for any garden.
I originally found this perennial very difficult to establish itself, taking two or three years before it finally took off. I don’t know why this is but if I had to start again in a new garden I would sow the seed in pots, topped with grit or gravel for a quicker result.
Some gardeners have masses of Welsh poppies in their borders but I have never managed to achieve that: I only have the odd plant growing at the border edges.

Anna Welsh Poppy

I have learnt that in order to prolong the flowering season throughout the summer, deadheading is imperative. I have already start to do this in April.

But, I also like to collect seed to sprinkle around and to offer to other gardeners, so I aim to sacrifice long-term flowering in order for one or two plants to develop seed heads, which are also attractive in themselves. Each seed head contains dozens and dozens of tiny black seed.
Welsh poppies are a short-lived species that will flower in sun or shade but mainly prefer part-shade and moist, fertile soil. But, generally speaking they are not too fussy.

If you are ordering your seeds now I would suggest you add Welsh poppies to your list.  You will not be disappointed.