Wild Poppies

red wild poppies in France

red wild poppies in Francewild 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 Francered 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

53 thoughts on “Wild Poppies”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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!

  4. 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:)

  5. 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.

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

      1. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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 : )

  9. 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

      1. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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! :)

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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!)

  25. Stephanie Smirnov

    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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