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Field Poppies, the Memorial Flower

By Sharon
May 27, 2013

Sometimes when we are going full blast ahead and not paying a bit of attention to anything around us, something stunning catches our eyes and an old truth simply slaps us right in the face. It happened to me when I saw the poppies.

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Name: Arif Masud
Alpha Centauri (Zone 9a)
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KAMasud
May 26, 2013 8:18 PM CST
Sharon after many years I have come over any reference to that poem I tip my hat to you. .
Don't know much about Europe, Africa and the origins of poppy but this much I do know it needs a period of cold and Africa is out. It grows as a weed in the Himalayas. Some seeds might have gotten lodged in the soles of the boots of Marco Polo when he was trudging through this area.
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Arif.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
May 26, 2013 8:27 PM CST
Hi Arif,

It seems nobody really knows the origins of the field poppy, nor do I, but your assumptions about seeds and boots might be as close to truth as we can get.

I don't see them often here where I live, though some did appear when I built a little rock wall a few years ago. Maybe the birds planted them but they never returned. I wish I could get the Meconopsis - Himalayan - to grow here, but too hot, too dry, I think. It's such a beautiful blue.

Now that I've written about that poem, I can't get it out of my mind.
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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
May 27, 2013 12:59 AM CST
Wonderful article Sharon, as always and informative as well.

It gives me chills to think that your Uncle was the one that told you the history/story of poppies and then you saw them on the way to his funeral Lovey dubby Crying My condolences for your loss Group hug

I only have the orange poppies and their seeds were planted by birds too.

Name: Jean
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rocklady
May 27, 2013 8:09 AM CST
As usual, a most informative and beautiful tribute to your Uncle on this Memorial Day. I add my condolences to Vicki's for your loss. Group hug Group hug Group hug
Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

"The moving hand writes and having writ moves on. Neither all thy piety nor all thy wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it." The Rubiyat by Omar Khayyam
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
May 27, 2013 8:27 AM CST
Thanks Ladies, my uncle would have been 90 in November, and he had a long and beautiful life. He also served in the medical corps in both WWII and the Korean war. A good man. But for me the best part was his love for plants so all I have to do is look around my gardens and see him in every bloom.

You're right, Vic. It's the first time I've ever seen poppies blooming along the WKY Parkway. Smiling

(Edit: Oops, confused the wars.)
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[Last edited by Sharon - May 27, 2013 8:43 AM (+)]
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Name: Mary
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fiwit
May 27, 2013 7:09 PM CST
That poem's been in my mind all day, too. Did you know that LM Montgomery used it throughout one of her Anne of Green Gables books? She focused on the stanza about throwing the torch to the next group, and challenging them to not let it fall. It was either book 5 or book 6 of the series - I'm thinking book 5, because book 6 was all about her daughter 'Rilla.
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
May 27, 2013 7:27 PM CST
I think I got the poem out of my system as I drove from Louisville last week; I recited it all the way home.

Actually I never read Anne of Green Gables, none of them, though I know the theme that runs through them. My first favorite books in a series were old ones that had belonged to my grandmother. She taught me to read from them when I was 4 and recuperating from polio. They were The Little Colonel series, written by Annie Fellows Johnston; they originated about 1895 with 'The Little Colonel' and with it I was hooked. The stories take place in Louisville and were based on a true story. I never heard of Anne of Green Gables till much later and by then I think I was into Nancy Drew. Guess I really liked little girl hero books.

Too, the movie The Little Colonel had come out some years before I came along and so when it finally showed at a theatre near me, my mom took me to see it. So I missed out on Anne of Green Gables, and all my little girl heroes looked like Shirley Temple. Smiling

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Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
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MaryE
May 28, 2013 10:38 AM CST
So interesting how so many things came together when you were driving to your uncle's funeral. Your article is very timely for the Memorial Day holiday.

The only poppies I have are the orange ones with fuzzy leaves.
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
May 28, 2013 10:48 AM CST
First time I'd ever seen poppies growing along the interstate. For miles I had no idea what they were, then I had to slow down for more construction and saw them bobbing in the wind. Only poppies can look like that.

And I don't have much luck growing them here, either.
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Sandhill2000
Mar 7, 2014 9:32 AM CST
Does anyone know where to find artificial Flanders field poppies that are really well done?

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