Poppies

Poppies


I painted a painting titled Poppy Field (detail here) where this girl is sitting in a field, as if she is just taking a little rest on her way home. This field could be just about anywhere, but I remembered the fields around the Caspian sea in Iran with it's wild growing poppies.

They are such delicate, but resilient little flowers.


Growing poppies from seeds is easy. Pinch five or six seeds into your fingers and drop them into a container filled with potting mix. The small six-pack plastic pots that nursery-bought flowers and seedlings come in work well. I actually scatter them all around in my yard and have had good results growing the California poppy this way.

Choose a potting mix with no big chunks of bark or other material that will block the light seeds need to germinate. Sprinkle the soil lightly with water a few times a day; don't let it dry out.

Symbolism:
The red poppy was a popular emblem of country life and summer’s richness. Because of its narcotic properties, the poppy is sometimes used as a symbol of sleep, oblivion, or indifference.

The Minoan poppy goddess wears the poppy seed capsules, a source of narcosis, in garlands in her hair. In ancient Roman mythology, Somnus, the god of sleep, is always crowned with poppies or lying surrounded by them. The Greek goddess of the harvest, Demeter, created the poppy as a means of getting some sleep after the loss of her dear daughter, Persephone. The twin brothers Hypnos and Thanatos (gods of sleep and death) are typically represented as crowned with poppies or carrying poppies in their hands. (Source: Dumas, Anne. Book of Plants and Symbols. London: Hachette, 2000)

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