My love affair with meconopsis, or the Himalayan blue poppy, started years ago when reading about them. I first came face to face with them 5 yrs ago in the Ringve Botanic Garden in Trondheim, Norway (we were there celebrating our Ruby Wedding ) and have been completely besotted with these lovely plants ever since.
I came face to face with them again 2 yrs later at Les Jardins de Metis, on the south side of the St. Lawrence River while on holiday in Canada and became even more determined to grow them if I possibly could. I bought a packet of seed of Meconopsis betonicifolia from the Metis garden and that was the start for me – I was hooked !
I then bought 1 plant of Meconopsis “Lingholm” which was bred in the UK, saved the seed and grew them on. All the photos in this post are of ” Lingholm” grown from my seed.
2 yrs ago I bought 1 plant of Meconopsis grandis from Dalemain House in the Lake District, UK and am still waiting for this plant to flower, there is a bud coming. Last year it formed 3 small plants around the parent plant, maybe it increases this way and not by seed, I will have to wait and see.
All the information that I have read recommends storing any seed in the fridge until you are ready to sow them, this certainly seems to work for me.
I sowed my seeds in January and then left them outside to get frosted and buried under the snow, then brought them into the greenhouse in February for them to germinate, which they did in about 3 weeks.
I have just pricked out 168 seedlings into plug trays from last years seeds and these will need potting on again before planting out in the autumn.
Is it a plant, is it an animal, it is so hairy you can stroke it !
A few days later you can see that it is definitely a plant – one of my M.”Lingholm” has a bud nestling among the hairy leaves.
Almost time, won’t be long now before the wonderful display starts.
Here in the south of England the weather is usually too warm to be able to grow meconopsis easily. They originate in the Himalayas and are happy in the Arctic circle, north Canada, Scotland and the Lake District of the UK.
All mine are planted in semi shade or full shade, to try to keep them as cool as possible and I have to make sure that they never dry out over the summer. They must have an acid soil with lots of compost and leaf mould added along with a dash of fertiliser.
Meconopsis are such beautiful, amazingly fantastic plants. The colour is the most delicious shade of turquoise blue which I don’t think is found in any other plant, the camera doesn’t lie, they really are this colour !!
It is one of those plants that once seen, you just “have to have it” and it is no good just having one, you have to have hundreds, hence the seed sowing ! One day ,maybe, I will have drifts of meconopsis, my own blue heaven !