The poppies have been magnificent this year.
Each flower starts off tucked away as a tiny bud.
They grow into plump, hairy nodding buds.
The stem starts to straighten, sending the bud skywards.
Nearly there.
The bud case turns turns brown and starts to split…
revealing the delicate, papery bright-red petals. They remind me of crumpled silk or crushed tissue paper.
They nod about for a couple of days, bringing joy to bees and gardeners.
Before discarding their petals on the ground and…
revealing their perfectly designed seed heads.

Hello. How’s it going with you? It’s been all about getting garden safari-ready here, which is very boring to everyone who isn’t interested in the garden, especially our teenagers. I was going to pull out these poppies – they’ve passed their peak but they’re still flowering so I’ve left the clumps where they are for now and noticed that they had flowers at each stage of development, so I thought I’d record it here. I find the whole process of seed to plant to flower to seed fascinating.

We had a massive push outside this weekend. My mother-in-law came to help and, as usual, galvanised us to do more than we’d planned, so it is looking great even if I’m not (exhausted, grubby, terrible hay fever-face at the end of each day). I’ll take some photos towards the end of the week so you can see – of the garden, not me, obvs!

The weather has been amazing but I’ve had such revolting hay fever which doesn’t combine well with sticking my head into ornamental grasses to remove bindweed. Nothing seems to be helping, so I just keep splashing water on my face and carrying on. What with all the gardening, having a nose like a tap and having everyone at home and all that entails, I am exhausted and looking forward to having an excuse to sit in the garden and do nothing other than chat to any visitors who wander in. In the meantime, I’m off outside with my pockets full of tissues.

Have a good week.