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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.

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