Poppies rival peonies when it comes to blowsy flowers although their "tissue paper" like quality has a charm all of its own. If you recognise their strengths and use them accordingly, Papaver orientale varieties are invaluable in the late spring flower border which is why they feature in our collection of herbaceous plants for sale.
The flowers are huge - up to 15 cms (6") in diameter - and they open May before most borders really wake up. The colour range is from pure white to blood-red and a bit like photographs the petals are gloss or matt. Altogether a must in your early summer border. And when they have flowered you have a choice. If you dead-head, they will re-flower later in summer. Or, let the seed heads form and then cut the plant to the ground when the leaves yellow. This has two merits. They produce fresh green foliage in late summer just when the rest of your border can look a bit tired, and treating them this way also means they can be followed by other herbaceous subjects such as anemones, asters, echinaceas, phlox etc.
Poppies are easy to grow as long as they are planted in areas with good drainage but that are moisture retentive. They are hungry plants, however, so add plenty of garden compost and a bit of general fertiliser for show bench quality blooms.