California Poppies in my Garden

– Posted in: Garden Adventures


I love the way California poppies undress before they debut, their satiny orange petals held in place by cone-shaped, diaphanous robes. Or maybe those are hats?


In spring, poppies sashay in drifts through my Southern CA garden, wearing tea-length, glossy satin gowns.


Poppies reseed on their own, so I never know exactly where they’ll appear. A friend gave me an idea I’m going to try this year: After the flowers turn into slender seedpods, he cuts the whole shebang off at the base, leaving the plant intact. Then he tosses the bunches wherever he wants poppies the next spring.


Poppies are feminine, ephemeral and exuberantly orange. Here, they flirt with my masculine, brooding, silver-blue agave.


On cloudy days and at night, poppies swirl shut, as though feeling a chill. As a child, I imagined them saying (in high-pitched voices), “Show’s over…bye-bye!”

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Debra Lee Baldwin

Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified, all Timber Press bestsellers. Her goal is to enhance others' enjoyment and awareness of waterwise plants and gardens by showcasing the beauty and design potential of succulents via books, articles, newsletters, photos, videos, social media and more. Debra and husband Jeff live in the foothills north of San Diego. She grew up in Southern California on an avocado ranch, speaks conversational Spanish, and at age 18 graduated magna cum laude from USIU with a degree in English Literature. Her hobbies include thrifting, birding and watercolor painting. Debra's YouTube channel has had over 3,000,000 views.
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin
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