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Poppies' papery, almost artificial-looking flowers are well-loved, and there are a surprising number of different kinds. The finer species including Iceland, Alpine, and Atlantic poppies have a special charm with flowers in myriad colors in spring. Oriental poppies are bristly and less refined, but they have huge, exploding flowers of brilliant reds, pinks, white, oranges, and plum, some with double flowers in summer. Most are blotched with black at the base and centered with a boss of black stamens. After these plants give their all at bloom time, the foliage dies back and looks ragged, so plan to fill the newly available space with annuals, dahlias, baby's breath, or other later-blooming plants.
Under 6 inches to 3 feet
garden plans for Poppy
more varieties for Poppy
'Allegro' Oriental poppy
Papaver orientale 'Allegro' is a dwarf form that stays only 20 inches tall and bears strong stems with bright red-orange flowers. Zones 3-9
'Coral Reef' Oriental poppy
Papaver orientale 'Coral Reef' bears big coral-pink flowers on rugged plants that grow 3 feet tall. Zones 3-9
'Helen Elizabeth' Oriental poppy
Papaver orientale 'Helen Elizabeth' has bristly stems and lobed, toothed foliage. A central boss of black stamens accents the bright salmon-color flowers. It may reach 2-1/2 feet tall. Zones 3-9
'Patty's Purple Plum' Oriental poppy
Papaver orientale 'Patty's Purple Plum' bears unique burgundy-purple blooms on strong 3-foot stems. Zones 3-7
'Prince of Orange' Oriental poppy
Papaver orientale 'Prince of Orange' has full orange-scarlet flowers on 30-inch-tall stems. It doesn't have the big black blotches at the base of the flower that most Oriental poppies do, but it's centered with black stamens and seedpod. Zones 3-9
plant Poppy with
Come rain or come shine, this is one gorgeous grass. After a shower, the delicate clouds of switchgrass seed heads are spangled with raindrops that glisten in the sun. In dry weather, these mostly upright grasses are beautiful in slanting sun, which highlights their green, purplish, or bluish leaves.In late summer, lightly branched panicles of spikelets (flowers) appear above the foliage, presenting an airy picture. In fall, the foliage often takes on dramatic red, yellow, or gold tones, then it turns buff in winter. Some self-seed freely. Provide average, well-drained soil in sun or very light shade for best results.
Easy, always fresh, and always eye-catching, Shasta daisy is a longtime favorite. All cultivars produce white daisy flowers in various degrees of doubleness and size. The sturdy stems and long vase life make the flowers unbeatable for cutting. Shasta daisy thrives in well-drained, not overly rich soil. Taller sorts may need staking.
Easy and undemanding, veronicas catch the eye in sunny gardens over many months. Some have mats with loose clusters of saucer-shaped flowers, while others group their star or tubular flowers into erect tight spikes. A few veronicas bring elusive blue to the garden, but more often the flowers are purplish or violet blue, rosy pink, or white. Provide full sun and average well-drained soil. Regular deadheading extends bloom time.
There are hundreds of different types of salvias, commonly called sage, but they all tend to share beautiful, tall flower spikes and attractive, often gray-green leaves. Countless sages (including the herb used in cooking) are available to decorate ornamental gardens, and new selections appear annually. They are valued for their very long season of bloom, right up until frost. Not all not hardy in cold climates, but they are easy to grow as annuals. On square stems, clothed with often-aromatic leaves, sages carry dense or loose spires of tubular flowers in bright blues, violets, yellow, pinks, and red that mix well with other perennials in beds and borders. Provide full sun or very light shade, in well-drained average soil.