Wild Poppies

May 19, 2011

red wild poppies in France wild red poppies in France

The little daffodils are long gone, but in their place wild poppies have sprung up everywhere. I’m told they’re considered by some residents to be a weed, but I adore them! I think poppies are gorgeous and I spend time every year making sure they’re a part of my flower garden.

red wild poppies in France red wild poppies in France

Here in the countryside, they grow along the roads and on the edges of plowed fields. Every so often, there are is a big hill full of them and I feel compelled to stop and take pictures.

red wild poppies in France

Oh, France. Even your weeds are pretty!

P.S. — Have you ever received a red crepe-paper poppy from the American Legion Auxiliary? I still have one from when I attended Girls State in high school. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make a paper poppy. Memorial Day is coming — I think I’ll look up instructions and make them with my kids.

red wild poppies in France

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erin May 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Lots of great things to share today, thank you! I just want to reach out and touch one of the poppies. In high school, I had a giant paper poppy in my bedroom. This reminded me of that.

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2 Design Mom May 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm

They’re so delicate to the touch. They’re just gorgeous!

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3 kristina@beancakes May 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm

beautiful photos! so colorful ;)

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4 Denise Laborde May 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Des cocoliquots! These are my husbands favorite flower because you can really only appreciate them in nature – once picked they wilt almost immediately.

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5 Design Mom May 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I was wondering what the French name was. Thanks, Denise!

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6 Tina B. May 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Oh my gosh….I am a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and I remember as a kid standing on the street corner asking for donations and handing out poppies!!!

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7 Design Mom May 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Hi Tina! As a former Girls State-er, I consider myself a big fan of the ALA. : )

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8 Robin May 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I planted some poppy seeds a few weeks ago, and they’re just beginning to break through! I hope they’re as beautiful as the ones in your pictures. Gorgeous!

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9 Amanda Joy May 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I totally forgot that I received a Poppy at Girls’ State. I will have to go see if I saved it. Our neighbor has poppy flowers, and I love to take pictures of them with me kids:)

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10 Marina {Yummy Mummy} May 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Just gorgeous!

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11 amy May 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I usually hang a poppy from my rear view mirror, but I think I’ve lost it. My grandfather (who i called Poppy) was a korean war vet, so I always give to the American Legion (or VFW) people handing them out.

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12 jen May 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm

that reminds me of one of my france posts once. . .
http://ocharm.blogspot.com/2008/05/ps.html
such a blessed land!

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13 Elizabeth May 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Poppies a weed? They’re the California state flower! Vast acres of them along the highways, the farmlands — there’s nothing more beautiful!

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14 Design Mom May 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I didn’t know they were the California state flower. How fun! I was born in California. Maybe a love for poppies is in my blood. : )

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15 The Prudent Homemaker May 26, 2011 at 8:11 am

California poppies are very different from Shirley poppies (les coquliecots). If you live in the states, you can buy seeds for both at Wildseed Farms (they are online). I have bought Shirley poppies before (they have red, and also a pastel mix).

I fell in love with them when I was in France; I picked one and kept it in a notebook (pressed). I still have it.

I have poppies growing in my garden right now. They are SO beautiful! I planted the large ones this time (from Terretorial Seed Company. They are shirley poppies, but taller.

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16 courtney May 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I love poppies! When I was growing up in Denver, wild poppies took root in the dirt around our mailbox and bloomed every spring. They are so cheery!

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17 kaela d. May 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm

those wild poppies are great! but what’s even better is finding someone else who attended girl’s state (except mine was in CO)! every time I’ve ever mentioned it to someone they say “girl’s state what? state sports championship?” lol : )

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18 Design Mom May 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Good old Girls State. I loved it. I even ran for Governor!

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19 Katie May 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I love poppies. These pictures remind me of a poem that’s recited every Remembrance Day in Canada. We also wear little poppies that day.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- John McCrae

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20 Design Mom May 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I love that poem, Katie! Thank you for including it here.

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21 Angela May 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I love the pictures! Thanks, too, for the mention of the American Legion Auxiliary, of which I’m a life-long member. I sold poppies for years as a young girl. As you probably know, the Auxiliary purchases the poppies from disabled veterans, sells them, and uses the proceeds to fund multiple programs benefiting veterans and their families. SO, they’re pretty, meaningful, and serve a great purpose! Katie, thanks for adding the poem! It’s often recited here on Memorial Day.

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22 amanda May 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm

when I was a little girl (between the ages of 3 and 7) my family lived in Belgium. One of the few things I remember about living there is how much I loved playing around the big, bright red poppies that grew in our yard. They are still my favorite flower!

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23 Sherri May 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I so remember all the beautiful poppies along the roadsides and highways in Europe! Really taking me on walk down memory lane with your blog these days…

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24 bdaiss May 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Thank you for reminding me! I have a packet of poppy seeds a friend gave me this winter. Need to get those scattered and planted. Love them.

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25 wishful nals May 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm

wow, so gorgeous!

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26 Sara @ Periwinkle Papillon May 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm

absolutely breathtaking.

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27 Camille May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Love it!! I think my favorite is the one of the green field with the touches of redish-orange beauty.

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28 Zoe May 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm

In Canada, when I was growing up, everyone wore crepe paper poppies on their lapels for Veteran’s Day (Nov 11). I remember them so well. Red poppies will forever remind me of that, as well as the John McCrae poem, “In Flanders Fields,” which I recite devery year during our school assembly.

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29 Rosa @ flutterflutter May 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm

My favorite memory of poppies comes from France when we were in Nyons. The house we rented had the most beautiful painting of poppies in the living room. That’s when I first fell in love with them.

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30 tawnee May 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm

first lilies of the valley, Now wild poppies, you are too lucky!

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31 Bek May 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I was a girls state- er too!! But just mayor. :-). In England they have Poppy Day. You can buy them from people on the streets and it is to raise mobey for veterans. Its a big thing over there. Good memories.

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32 Deb May 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm

i would get the you are my sunshine necklace as my kids still melt in my arms when i sing it to them

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33 Julie May 19, 2011 at 7:05 pm

they are beautiful, aren’t they? sure do beat the dandelions that are taking over the back part of our yard!

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34 Holly May 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Anzac day was last month in Australia. The children made paper poppies at school.

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35 Lindsay May 19, 2011 at 8:39 pm

SO pretty!!! Way to go on these beautiful pictures. This would be a great location to do a little fam photo sesh.

Delighted Momma

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36 Kelly May 19, 2011 at 9:10 pm

I lived in Spain for three years as a child, and I literally walked through a poppy field on the way to school each day! It was straight out of the Wizard of Oz! Thanks for takin’ me back! :)

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37 Ale May 19, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Oh, weeds… I see now why you don’t see them in flower shops :(
I like them too, and I’ve seen some really giant poppy in some front yard in UK.

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38 Nikki May 19, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I think I would much rather see these “weeds” than the carpet of dandelions currently around town. Such pretty poppies.

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39 Michelle May 19, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Poppies are fantastic! I’m just getting ready for Girl’s State. I’m going back this year as a counselor (it’s my 10th year on staff) and they read the story every year. I LOVE the idea of learning how to make them with your kids. I bet they’ll have a great time and remember it and what it symbolizes forever.

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40 Victoria May 19, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Weeds… are they crazy?!? The flowers are absolutely beautiful, what a great site to see alongside a country road.

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41 Claire May 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Wow, what stunning photos. I love poppies too. In Australia we can buy pins/badges made to look like poppies for Rememberance Day.

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42 From Belgium May 20, 2011 at 1:43 am

I love poppies! The reason you find them at newly plowed fields is because they grow best in soil that has recently been ‘disturbed’. Sadly that is why they grew so well amost the crosses on the war cemeteries.
You should come to Ypres and hear the last post. Bone chilling.

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43 Bri (like the cheese) May 20, 2011 at 7:05 am

Quite possibly my favorite flower. I want an enormous print of that second image!!

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44 amy May 20, 2011 at 7:13 am

We can’t even get poppies in South Dakota, because they don’t grow well here, and they wither shortly after you cut them. I’ve never seen one in “real life”.

But I am loving living vicariously through your photos!

amy @ glass confetti

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45 amyks May 20, 2011 at 7:25 am

Love the poppies. So pretty.

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46 JFPanther May 20, 2011 at 7:36 am

I feel the same way as you about Papoilas (in portuguese!) Just feel like stopping in the middle of the road and just stay there watching the way they dance in the wind… just love them!

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47 kelleyn May 20, 2011 at 8:07 am

Stunning! I would have a hard time not stopping and taking photos of them too!

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48 Cassie May 20, 2011 at 10:18 am

I love poppies too! We had tons of them growing in our backyard one year and it was gorgeous. I have this link to Martha Stewart tutorial to make paper poppies. http://www.marthastewart.com/329053/paper-poppies-and-peonies?xsc=eml_crd_2011_03_27
Hope you this helps.

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49 bec May 20, 2011 at 1:49 pm

this made me laugh. i can’t show my husband this post, because i just planted some poppies in my yard, and if he gets it into his head that they are weeds…i no longer have any dandelions because he sprayed them all. sad.

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50 Sonja May 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I love, love, love poppies – as a matter of fact I want one of your photos framed on my wall.

I remember the sunflowers last time I was in France – they seemed to be growing everywhere along the road on our summer road trip from Paris down the Western coast to Spain. (Ste. Emilion was my favorite town!)

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51 Heather May 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Wild Poppies!??! That is too wonderful to be true!

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52 Stephanie Smirnov May 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I have an ALA poppy pinned to my kitchen bulletin board as we speak. And I remember discovering CA poppies the two years I lived in Sonoma County–just as pretty as red poppies but also orange and yellow. As I remember it’s illegal to pick them!

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53 Alison Dear May 22, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I do remember that about Paris, the flowers always changing with the season, BEAUTY everywhere you looked and turned around….always flowers

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