Thursday, June 05, 2008
Here they are.The lovely poppy seed poppy.
Every year I await their bloom, and this year the huge plants that self seeded from last year have burst open in a riot of crimson, burgundy, and pink. An Art Nouveau dream.
They are sown by the wind, scattered by my wanderings through the garden. This year they are over 4 feet high, the nodding heads heavy, the ruffled leaves like the skirts of Belle Epoch ladies.
I can't help but think of them as fancy women from a late Victorian Paris nightclub, can-can on the stage, absinthe in their glasses.
In the late summer harvest the seeds for baking, sprinkled on Ukrainian braid, baked in sweet poppyseed cake. Their culinary uses tie me to the centuries of Slavic women who used them as medicine, in cooking and for sacred offerings.
And I love them for their beauty.