I feel a bit like a station master, for the past couple of weeks I have been dropping off and picking up members of 'The Team' at various unsociable hours. Its 5.55am and I have just dropped Emma (13 3/4) at school for a 2 day trip to Ypres a beautiful Medieval village in West Flanders, Belgium and also the site of the battlefields of World War 1. They will visit some of the cemeteries and the Menin Gate for 'The Last Post', quite a memorable trip.
It's too early in the year for poppies in Flanders fields, but they are always a poignant reminder of sacrifice and of hope.
Poppies (Papaver rhoeas) are one of my favourite flowers, they have an ephemeral beauty, a delicate (surprisingly hairy) but strong stem, a bud that hangs its head (very photogenic) and petals as delicate as tissue paper which last only a day or so. Field poppy seeds can lie dormant for years and will germinate when the ground is disturbed-so tougher than you might imagine. I often try to grow poppies but they are wilful and pop up where you least expect them. A scattering of seeds may only produce one or two flowers for me, probably because I don't plough my garden when I sow them!
If blood red isn't your thing there are some delicious varieties, 'Bridal White' or 'Picotee' in gentle shades of pink and peach.
They also lend themselves to watercolours, I painted this a couple of years ago.
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