While we still grow some exotic garden flowers in our polyculture garden, such as cosmos and zinnias, this year I decided to add more native annuals to the mix. One of the native wildflowers I planted was California poppies.
Our sunken garden rows are on a slight slope, so when I planted the seeds, they got washed down a bit and clumped together.
Once the seeds started sprouting, I was concerned that the plants were too crowded. This concern disappeared once the plants started to bloom – I thought they looked quite nice in a dense clump!
I absolutely loved the way these poppies looked planted in between the dark red foliage of giant red mustard.
The petals of these flowers are delicate, and flutter in the slightest breeze, adding quite a bit of movement to the garden.
As is frequently the case with plants adapted to arid climates, California poppies have silvery green foliage.
We planted not just the standard species (Eschscholzia californica), but also tried a cultivar called ‘Mikado’ which has darker orange blooms.
While Mikado is lovely with its burnt orange petals, I was quite fond of the bright orange hue of the uncultivated species and will stick with that next year.
Not surprisingly, our California poppies were a big hit with our local pollinator friends.
Just illustrating the diversity in the gene pool, one of our plants sported a single white bloom.
One of my goals in attracting pollinators to our garden is encourage biodiversity.
Growing an assortment of plants that have different flower types can help attract a diverse array of pollinators. This one has a cup like shape.
Some bees actually sleep in cup-shaped flowers at night!
What makes me even more excited about these plants than how beautiful they are? They are native to our state.
That means they’ll be a special help to local bees.
Want to see some of the other plants we grew from seed?
Cube of Butter Yellow Zucchini