His Poppies Remind Me to Paint

Our artist friend gave us these seeds. I will always think of Bill when they bloom.

His lovely paintings cover our walls. I regret not learning from him.

I was busy with two small children and building a house and a career.

I think about things like that now.

I test the value of what I have chosen to do and what I have been forced postponed.

These poppies remind me to paint.

My female heroes from the past were artist: Marianne North, Beatrix Potter, Margaret Mee, Mary Delaney, and Maria Merian.

I will pack my paint pens this week. I will paint a few plant-marker stones if it rains.

I will remember Bill Troutman and his talent, as I paint while his poppies bloom.


Popping Poppies

Every year when the poppies pop, I walk through them in awe.


How could they be this red? …this beautiful?  …this perfectly made?

I hope I never lose the feeling I get when looking into a poppy bloom.


They are marvelous. They are spectacular.

How can a tiny black speck grow into such magnificence?


Let me add the lesson the poppies have taught me.

I have planted them various places in my gardens over the years,

but they thrive in a place that I would prefer that they not grow.

They love the edge of our vegetable garden.


Mr. Flower has to plow around them.  We have to plant around them.

We let them stay here because we love them so much.

My saying for me has been “Grow where you are planted”.

Now that I have young adult children, my saying for them is,

“Plant yourself where you can grow”.

The poppies taught me this.

They thrive and bloom best where they plant themselves,

NOT where Mama Flower sowed their seeds.


POP goes the FLOWER!

Seeds in Sand

I am ashamed to admit that I usually don’t mix my small seeds with sand.

It can be seen on my hand how this mix would better space the seeds.

Poppy seeds are also tiny and tend to blow while sown.


This leads to over-crowding and the need to thin seedlings.


Sometimes I wait too late to thin, which disrupts the roots of the plants left.

Last week I mixed my poppy seeds with sand before sowing them.


I liked that I could see where I had sown the seeds.


Hopefully, this year’s poppies will be less crowded than last year’s crop.

If I have given you my red, double “Bill Troutman” poppy seeds; you need to sow them soon.   They are early risers.



Let them be Just Poppies

We humans like our symbols.  It allows us to make the complicated simple.

An icon conjures up more than just an image.

It’s bad enough that we have done this with flags and rainbows, but leave the flowers out of it.

Poppies are just poppies.

Papaver paconiflorum/Peony poppy/Double red

Lovely and tall with nodding buds


and fancy fringe petals


and shaker-top seed pods.


Let them be just poppies;


Not a source of opium or the cause of an addiction.

Not the crop of desperate farmers in a war-torn land far away,


Not a field of lost souls from a foreign war long ago,

Or a magical cause of sleep sent by a wicked witch.


They are just poppies.

Beautiful poppies.


Nothing more.