California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica - many blooms garden Victoria BC, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest

California Poppy

California Poppy - many blooms, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

I like the saturated orange of the California Poppy bloom.  It’s bright and happy.

Even more, I like that the plant survives well on roadsides & rocky areas.  A plant that doesn’t need nurturing – bonus!

California Poppy at Snake Rock, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

This little patch of poppies lives just down the street at Snake Rock.  It blooms in mid-spring & continues well into the dry summer.

Of course, the thought occurred to me, “We NEED that in our garden!” Can’t you imagine how lovely a wave of bright orange would be in the shrub border?

California poppy - seed pod, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

Even C is encouraging.  He really likes the bright orange blooms, too. So, for the past 5 years, I’ve gathered seed from the roadside, then spread it through our gardens.

There’s been the occasional reward, but mostly I’ve had little success.

The California Poppy has a long tap-root, so where ever it pops up, that’s where it has to stay.  It does not like being moved.  And it doesn’t seem to like being watered either.   Nor fed.  Nor coddled in any way.

The shrub border had a fair amount of fertilizer, mulch & water over the past few years, as the plants were all so new & getting established.  Maybe that’s been too much attention for the poppy.

The most successful patch is on our rocky hillside.  It’s a well-drained site and bakes in the sun.  The California Poppy will grow in the soil, but seems even happier in the gravel of the pathway!  Go figure.

California Poppy in gravel path, garden Victoria BC
photo by SVSeekins

So far, I’m resisting the urge to weed it out of the path.  I’ve decided that it’s ‘whimsical’ growing there.

I’m happy about growing a local wildflower.  I’m also delighted that the deer, who spend their afternoons on our little mountain, leave the California Poppy alone.

My plan is to keep spreading seed in the rest of the garden & be happy with whatever we get.  That’s the true definition of ‘low maintenance,’ isn’t it?


© copyright 2012 SVSeekins

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5 thoughts on “California Poppy”

  1. So we’ve got another type of orange poppy growing EVERYWHERE so don’t think they are so pretty anymore!!! Always enjoy your posts & pictures – thanks for sharing.

  2. Naturally, if it is essentially a weed, it will only grow where IT wants to grow and not where YOU want it to grow. Proof that God has a sense of humour and irony!

    1. Isn’t that the truth! Thank goodness for the ‘volunteers’ that have helped me bulk up the beds while the shrubs were maturing 🙂 Foxglove, lichnis & snapdragons miss being called weeds because although they seem to be able to grow ANYWHERE, they also can be shifted easily to where I’d like them to be

  3. Funny how “planned” wildflower gardens never seem to materialize the way we want them to. i can’t count the number of times I have tried planting commercial wildflower seed with zero results. You should do a post about your seed bombs… another cool idea.


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