One of my strongest memories of my paternal grandfather was of him pottering in the garden.
He had a way with plants, as has his son ( my father) and he was always propagating and pottering.
He was a veteran of World War 1, traveling all the way to the war by ship with his brother who died from the dreadful flu epidemic without seeing any action on the war front.
Pop saw action in France and was a runner between the trenches carrying messages
- a very dangerous task I imagine !
But then everything was dangerous in that dreadful war.
Pop was a very staunch member of the Returned Soldiers' League and the family treasures the citation for his services to the Cairns branch throughout WWII.
No matter where he lived his garden always contained some red poppies.
Every year these poppies would magically appear originating from self sown seeds of the flowers of the previous year.
Bright spots of red would bob up all over the place.
When I asked him he called them Flanders Poppies but never said any more about them
but they are the flower that I most associate with him all these years later.
Now, of course, I know the significance of them and have seen them growing wild in France and England too.
Recently, on a whim, I searched the internet to see if it was possible to buy seeds with thoughts of them popping up in my garden as they had for him.
I was surprised to find them easily and soon dispatched an order for 1000 poppy seeds for the princely sum of $1.99 !
Now I have to say that I have never seen these poppies growing anywhere except my grandfather's garden so I guessed from that that there might be a problem with growing them here in semi tropical Brisbane.
At first I gently scattered a very small amount of seed into a pot , gently covered them and watered and waited.... and waited.......and waited.
Nothing happened and I left the whole idea for a while.
Then one day I came upon the seeds - such tiny specks of seeds -and thought I'd give them one more go.
So I sprinkled them ALL into this small pot and just watered it.
No covering the seeds with soil, no fuss. Nothing to lose ....
and do you know I think every single seed germinated !
990 tiny little plants all jammed in together !!!
The instructions said they should be planted where they were to grow.
The did not transplant well.
Oh dear !
Well today I've carefully taken a few chunks of plants off one side of the mass, separated them into smaller clumps and planted them out into a bigger pot.
I've also planted a few small clumps into the dry stony ground that is our garden.
All I can do now is try to keep them alive with water and a little gentle fertilizer and cross my fingers.
It may be too hot here ... but then it's very hot in the south of France so you never know.
The big blue pots with their pretty annuals are now adding colour to the front of our house and seem to be doing well. Let's hope they can withstand the heat for a little while at least
As you can see our front yard needs all the help it can get!
A long dry Winter, no Spring rains and lots of windy days has left our front lawn very parched indeed.
Yes, this is a true colour photo of the dry, crackly stuff that is our front lawn
and with no rain to fill the tank there'll be no green grass here till it rains.
(It's too expensive to water the lawn with town water)