the family story about the pink poppies
Double-Bloom pink poppies
There is a technical name for these poppies that I can pronounce or spell. The poppy flower in general has origins dating back thousands of years. These double bloom poppies are about 4-5 inches in diameter with a pale blue-green foliage. The pink hue actually varies a bit depending on soil make-up and temperatures. If you look closely at this photo above, you will see that prior to blooming the poppy forms a unique oval shaped pod which is stunning on its own right. Even after the bloom has finished, a seed pod remains until it dries out to which it then will release its black sand-like seeds to reproduce for the following year.
family history with the pink poppies
My Moma grew poppies as far back as my memory goes. We lived in Brainerd in a house that my parents built themselves (with help of grandparents and extended family – a major feat even in those days). Moma always had a huge bed of these amazing double bloom pink poppies. They were show-stoppers then as they are today.
My mom collected seeds to replant them (though they are good about reseeding themselves generally), but she also collected seeds to share. The poppy flower seeds are fine black seeds and in some sort of way like opium. She was always worried about it either way. She would typically fill an empty medicine bottle full of seeds and keep one or two in her purse – virtually at all times – on the perchance that she might be able to share them with somebody. I laugh now at the many times I was with her and she would share them. I remember being in the waiting room at the hospital with her – where we were there for a couple of hours or so. Eventually there was somebody she knew who would come in to “wait” as well. After a bit of conversation, Moma would lean over to them, covertly open her purse to show a medicine bottle of seeds, and she would whisper “would you like to have some poppy seeds?” So likely if you see these particular poppies around Chattanooga – I would not be surprised if they could be traced back to Moma and her generocity. She was so well-known for her poppies and her seed-gifts that I honored her and this memory at her funeral when I made up a bunch of “favors” of seed-packets to give out to anybody who desired them at the funeral home. The poppies were immediately planted here at the farm once they came here. More poppies and more beds of poppies have insured that the tradition continues. Jill still collects seeds to leave no chance of failure – it is too precious of a memory and tradition to risk.
The Tradition continues
In late January when nothing much shows any sign of life in the garden, you can typically see the early beginnings of the poppy greens in the garden. By late February you can get a good sense of how many seeds survived the winter. By early April, you can realize the enormous bounty that pops up. It continues to be a “Moma-memory” everytime I see them and it is especially awesome that they bloom late April or early May and continue through Mother’s Day. My mom left her legacy with these poppies and in a slew of countless – countless other ways….but isn’t it a cool thing that her influences linger on and on….and for me, I love telling Mimi-stories as often as I can.
Growing flowers is just part of who we are here at High Point Farms. Many of our flowers that we still grow are actual “heirloom” flowers from our family – like these poppies. We just began growing more and more flowers once we became a wedding venue. It took no time for the photographers to take advantage of this.
The tradition continues even now. Photographers arrange to do photo shoots here for Family Photo Sessions or Senior Pictures and as you can see, the poppies turn a regular photo into a “wowza” photo. I can’t help but think I tickled “pink” my mother would be if she knew how her legacy continues with just the simple act of loving flowers and sharing them with others. Ya’ know, different flowers have different meanings and according to Google, these pink double bloom poppies mean “compassion and platonic love.” How cool is that?
As our farm’s journey has evolved over the years, so too have our gardens. It now seems like a natural evolution but as of several years ago, we officially became a “Flower Farm” through the Georgia Agri-Tourism Department. This means that we grow flowers yes, but that we also have public/community events like the one this weekend for Mother’s Day. This is an opportunity for the public to come visit the farm, have garden tours, purchase flower bouquets or peony plants or even Dahlia tubers, and see all of the eye-candy of flowers and more at the farm. We even have seed packets for sale too so you can spread the love in your own gardens or share them with others. Let the tradition continue with you.