In France’s fields
We’ve lived in Lot for four years and, apart from the odd ones on the roadside, have seen very few wild poppies in our area. Yet, in early summer this year, a part of our garden suddenly sprouted several wild poppy plants. Where did they come from? David & Penny Mansfield
How appropriate a question for November’s issue of French Property News. Poppy seeds can remain dormant yet viable in the soil for several years and only germinate when they consider the time ripe. Had you dug over that particular part of the garden recently? Fresh cultivation or disturbance of land is sometimes all they need – hence the reason that poppies took over Flanders fields after the horrors of the First World War.
Poppies are actually getting quite scarce in some places, which is quite surprising considering that each plant can produce several thousand seeds. Their demise may be due in part to the use of herbicides in agriculture but, in some parts of France, it’s still possible to see a sea of poppies growing in among the farmers’ crops. A weed they may be, but what a lovely colourful weed!
Poppy seeds can lie dormant for several years