Photo of Blue Himalayan poppy

Blue Poppies

Facilitator June Imrie has written about blue poppies, to add information about the real plants inspiring our rememberance day blue poppies decorating the garden between 11th and 15th November. Read more about what the different poppy colours mean here.

Meconopsis ‘Lingholm’, Himalayan poppy.

Although the Himalayan poppy will gift us with a delightful sky blue presence between the months of May and July, you will often find there is a quiet lull of competition. Enthusiasts from around the world, work tirelessly, in their attempts to coax this unassuming gem into bloom during the first weeks of January. And who can blame them for this wee hardy poppy offers a much needed flash of eye catching colour after the long dark winter months.

Kirsty Wilson, of the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh, and one of the TV presenter’s on BeechGrove Garden, informs us this particular ‘meconopsis’ originates from Sino-Himalaya’, and is therefore, very much at home in damp temperate climates such as Scotland.

These poppies can reach a height of 75cm and spread to 50cm. And if you’re wishing to save money they can be divided in spring, but be mindful that this plant is not a sun worshiper. However, it will thrive in any shady area of your garden with moist soil conditions, specifically well drained and nutrient rich. They are hungry pups and love a good mulching in spring. As an extra kick of vitality a misting of diluted organic seaweed, every other day, will certainly green up the foliage, but make sure the seaweed is from a sustainable source.

Not only does this poppy introduce an aesthetically pleasing pop of colour into your garden, it also attracts a large variety of; bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies, birds and many other beneficial pollinators and given the mass decline in our wild life population’s the need to provide an abundance of pesticide & herbicide free, organic, wild life areas in our garden’s, has never been more urgent as it is today.

With many fond memories, I recall babysitting a glasshouse full of these wee gems with my former colleague and friend, Kirsty Wilson. My obsession with the Lingholm grew as Kirsty shared her enthusiasm and knowledge of how to tease this delightful treasure from its winter sleep, and in early spring our dedication was always rewarded well. We know you won’t be disappointed either. With kind permission from Kirsty you can find out more about the Meconopsis ‘Lingholm’ (Hymalayan Poppy) and other species, where Kirsty Wilson shares her love, passion and knowledge of these humble gems.

Words and photos by June Imrie, Ninewells Community Garden Facilitator.

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