An Alameda Garden: Propagation Month, Day 16: Direct-Seeding California Poppies

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Propagation Month, Day 16: Direct-Seeding California Poppies

Today I transplanted a brugmansia that I first planted almost two years ago. Although these are typically fast-growing plants, mine has been struggling since the very start. There has been die-back due to frost the last two winters, but I think the main problem is that the bed that I planted it in seems to not be deep enough for it to establish significant roots. Although I really wanted to see it in that spot along the south fence, in the end I had to give in and move it to a big oak wine barrel that I recently emptied. There it should have room to put out enough roots to make it happy.

Then I had to decide what to plant around it. The brugmansia (if it ever blooms) is supposed to be peach-colored. I first considered something blue--lobelia or love-in-a-mist. But I decided to make use of the still-overflowing box of seeds I have on hand and the best option appeared to be a packet of California poppies in a variety called 'Tropical Sunset.' I love the traditional golden-orange California poppies, but this selection from Renee's Garden blooms in "rich deep red, warm carmine-rose, ruffled flame and tangerine bicolors, and an occasional vanilla." And another nice thing--Renee does not skimp on quantity. There is a generous enough amount of seeds in the packet to sprinkle them liberally. And that's about all you have to do--sprinkle, pat down, and water.

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