Visit any nursery at this time of year and the chances are you’ll come across poppies in full bloom. In my own garden the annual varieties and perennial Welsh poppies (Meconopsis cambrica) are still tight buds but the oriental poppies (Papaver orientalis) have been showing off their gaudy colors for a few days now.
Their ephemeral beauty can be lost, however, without great foliage to show them off. I’ve shared one such vignette with you before; Creating a Picture Frame with Foliage but rather liked this combination I spotted in my garden yesterday that we could call…
Fire and Ice
The vibrant orange oriental poppy (an unknown variety that was a gift from a friend) gains depth from the rich hues of Orange Rocket barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Orange Rocket’) behind it while Skylands spruce (Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’) glows to one side.
A large, wide boulder adds a sense of solidity to the scene, balancing the vertical lines of the poppy stems.
What other foliage plants would transform these everyday orange poppies into something special?
I love the Old Fashioned smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Old Fashioned’) with its soft blue-green leaves. The new growth and stems are usually rosy pink that only adds to the charm
There are many silver leaved shrubs and perennials that could substitute for the weeping pear from the old fashioned daisy bush (Brachyglottis greyi) and silverbush (Convolvulus cneorum) to wormwood (Artemisia) varieties e.g. Silver Mound and dusty miller (Senecio cineraria).
How have you paired your poppies with foliage to really make them POP? Leave us a comment below or post a photo to our Facebook page. We’d love to see and hear your ideas!
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