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The Memorial Day Poppy

Memorial Day weekend may prompt visions of the red poppy known as Flanders or corn poppy.  This beautiful flower inspired the poem In Flanders Field and is now the symbol of the American Legion.

You may want to add this colorful annual to your garden.  The beautiful red flowers were once used as dye and for coloring red inks.  The flowers appear in summer and attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies to the garden.  Plus, the deer tend to leave these plants alone.

Plant seeds directly in the garden in fall or early spring.  Allow the plants to set seed.  If the seeds drop on bare soil and are left undisturbed seedlings will appear each year in your garden.

Grow these plants in full sun or light shade.  They tolerate a wide range of soils.  Just make sure the soil is moist and well-drained. Mature plants will grow 12 to 30 inches in height and look good in natural, informal, or formal gardens.

A bit more information: The Flander poppy’s close relative, oriental poppy, is a popular garden plant and cut flower. Grow it in full sun or partial shade in well-drained soil.  Enjoy the late spring to early summer bloom.  And don’t worry when the foliage disappears after the flowering.  This is normal and you can partner it with a later blooming perennial to cover the void that’s left in your garden.

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