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Journal

Poppies as cut flowers - how to make them last

Iceland poppies in Snapdragon's garden

Poppies are amazing flowers - all that papery, pettily, ruffly exuberance crammed tightly into the bud casing - unfurling, unfolding as the days go on.

This makes them the perfect cut flower to my mind - the chance to watch transformation day by day, even hour by hour.

Lots of people are surprised that they work as cut flowers - they seem to delicate and ephemeral - but if you follow these simple steps you will be able to watch them develop over a week.

You should choose poppies in full bud - where you know that if you peel back the casing you would find coloured petals just about ready to unfurl.

Conditioning poppies

  • Boil your kettle before you pick the poppies.
  • Pick the poppies straight into a jar of water.
  • Pour a couple of inches of the just boiled water into a mug.
  • Cut the poppy stems to the length you want and immediately put them into the mug of hot water and then count to ten.
  • Put them back in the jar and place it somewhere cool and shady for an hour.
  • Arrange your poppies - I like them in individual bottles. The bottom inch of the stem will be black and wizened from the hot water. this is fine, but a little unsightly, so you might prefer an opaque container.
  • Make sure they are out of the sun and keep the water topped up - they can be very thirsty.

Comments: 1 (Add)

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petrina on October 5 2020 at 01:25

my poppies have are my fav this spring, like paper and the bees head there first!

Snapdragon social

Thistledown is so beguiling. ⁠
The soft cream catching the light, waiting for goldfinches to alight. ⁠
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I’m heading to Hawarden today to join the lively people at @thegoodlifesoc and teach about foraged colour and dyeing socks with all kinds of plants. I’m hoping to be able to harvest some thistles as they give a particularly beautiful mustardy yellow.
Though I grew lots and lots of straw flowers for Christmas wreaths back when I had a proper commercial flower business,  it was only this year that I slowed down enough to really see them. ⁠
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I’d assumed that they wouldn’t be good for insects until fully out - flat dulled daisies, past the point of picking - but actually wasps seem to pollinate them when they are still tightly furled. ⁠
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This patch was wasp central for weeks. ⁠
A few butterflies flitted about, but mainly wasps⁠
I am somebody who needs distance to see a bigger picture. ⁠
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For the past couple of months I’ve been really struggling with where Snapdragon Life is, and how to get from here to where I want it to be. ⁠
I filled books and books with notes but was going round in circles - unable to commit to anything with the kind of conviction a small business needs. It was all too fuzzy somehow. ⁠
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Now I am away from the Studio. ⁠
Right in the middle of two weeks of walking and eating and photographing gardens and meeting friends and suddenly it is all much clearer. ⁠
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I now have 5 sentences written in my phone notes and a high clear soaring route to take. ⁠
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The multi talented @katgoldin took this photo of me in the Studio before I left - part of a photo shoot that took almost three years to actually schedule because I will do almost anything to avoid being in front of a camera.
Stained glass as the light gets cooler and the sun lower. ⁠
Bright dahlias arranged in the Studio window last week. ⁠
Earlier this week I saw great swathes of heleniums and dahlias in the potager at @walthamplace so rich amongst the teasels so next year I think I shall move some of the smaller flowered ones into the studio meadow to shine out amongst the grasses.
A couple of weeks ago someone told me that I have too many photos of cats and not enough of dogs.⁠⁠
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So here is Dixie, the Studio Dog, in her chair.⁠⁠
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Bored . . . . bored . . . bored
My dye cupboard in the Studio. ⁠⁠
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Jars of mordants and modifiers and dried plants.⁠⁠
Scraps of fabrics, too beautiful to throw out.⁠⁠
Skeins of yarn waiting to be washed.⁠⁠
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A place of infinite possibility.⁠⁠
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The lacy scarf hanging on the door is a pale yellow version of my Winter waves pattern which will be in the Seasonal Studio journal when it is published in December.⁠⁠
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It is such a lovely simple rhythmic pattern that I've packed a ball of alpaca/linen yarn - dyed a steely grey with tansy and iron - and taken it with me as my road trip knitting.⁠⁠
I'm not a naturally organised person. I am also very messy and the Studio table tends to get cleared in random waves of orderliness.⁠⁠
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Sadly this orderliness doesn't include actually being orderly, there is a lot of the
Euan and I have been sleeping in the airstream, officially as a glitch spotting exercise but actually because it is very relaxing.⁠⁠
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I wrote about it in my Tuesday letter to Studio Club members this week.  The lure of the tiny house.⁠⁠
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One of the interesting things is that you can see the Studio window, with its frothy pinks, from the other side.
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About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

 

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