Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

While I love the usual bright orange Eschscholzia, it is not a colour I want to predominate all over the garden; on the slope it is perfect.

The slope with Eschscholzia californica

Some very good American friends brought me some packets of seed of the Thai Silk series; I’m not sure why but I thought they might not be as strong a plant, or as easy to cultivate as the more customary wild orange variety.

From the RHS:

Preferred common name: California poppy Thai Silk Series

Family: Papaveraceae

Eschscholzia can be annuals or perennials, with finely divided leaves and solitary, long-stalked, poppy-like yellow, orange or red flowers, followed by conspicuous long seed-pods

Thai Silk Series are annuals with attractively dissected, blue-green foliage and single or more often semi-double flowers 4-6cm wide, in a range of shades of cream, yellow, orange, pink and red, sometimes with a cream centre.

Cultivation: Will thrive in poor, well-drained soil but they need full sun for the flowers to open. Can be grown as a drought-tolerant container plant. Good for exposed or coastal areas

They began flowering in the middle of April and made some nice combinations with tulips, especially in the Large Island.

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with tulips in the Large Island

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with tulips in the Large Island

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with tulips in the Large Island

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with tulips in the Large Island

I am removing the orange and yellow flowered plants from the Large Island and hoping that it will be all shades of pink, white, cream and pale yellow in the autumn.

Here’s a selection of some of the beautiful colours.  I really like the pleated texture that some of them display.

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with tulips in the Large Island

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with tulips in the Large Island

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series – how about this for pleated petals?

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series with silver leaved Tanecetum

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk Series, they come as doubles too

They are making seed pods now but are continuing to flower.  I will cut them down when they have finished flowering but after they’ve spread their seed.  Last year they flowered again as soon as the first rain of late summer arrived.  At present they are filling so many spaces that it is hard to imagine the garden without them.

May feast 1

There is something new and beautiful in the garden each day now.  I want to try to disciplinemyself to a post a day to share all the blooms that are adding to the overall beauty of My Hesperides Garden in May.

Today I chose Eschscholzia.

I don’t usually have a great success with seeds that need to be scattered in the ground where they are to flower but the packets (given to me by some good friends from the US) specifically stated that this was the best method.  So in Autumn 2010 I scattered the seed – and yes, success. I therefore wanted to try some other varieties and Donica from Reno kindly brought me some different varieties, some of which were sown last autumn.  There are the results.

E. californica from the Thai silk group

again from the Thai silk series

The foliage merges with the foliage of Euphorbia pontica, you can hardy see the difference.

In this series some colours are much stronger than others

The classic Californian poppy, strong vivid orange

But these too produce slight variations, all of which tone beautifully together.

Some are markedly darker almost red, especially in bud.

Some have yellow edges

As I had enjoyed them so much last year; I took seed heads from some for the plants and scattered them on any bare soil I found on the slope.  They have filled all the available soil and make me smile every time I see them.  Their simple flowers combine well with many other plant species creating different and interesting combinations throughout the borders.

with wild Irises, prostrate rosemary and stipa tenuissima

with thyme and euphorbia

contrasting with Phlomis sufruticosa

One even found its way next to Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diabolo