This is my old raspberry patch, which is onto its 7th year now. For that reason I started off another patch about 18 months ago which is going great guns and we are going to be absolutely inundated with berries this year. According to my RHS fruit book, a raspberry bed should be in place for 7 years, but strangely enough there are no instructions as to quite how one gets rid of 7 years of raspberry roots which go off metres in all directions? So, I think I'll just let this one keep on going until maybe one day it peters out......
So what's the red thing you are wondering? Raspberry? See if you can guess before scrolling down.
It's one of these!
Yeah I know, I'm a total sucker for self seeded flowers! The thing is, this bed has a good amount of space in front of the raspberries where once grew strawberries for 4 years, followed by borlotti beans, followed by annual flowers last year with a space to put in a blackberry that a friend gave me. As well as these poppies I threw in corncockle seeds, both of which were sent to me by a friend in Brittany. I also added in some orange cosmos, pot marigolds and even some black-eyed susan and morning glory to grow up the posts.
Only they all came back. This year the poppies are at least a foot taller; some are taller than me! I couldn't bear to pull all of them out so now I'm faced with a dilemma as I need to GET in there to pick raspberries soon, as they are just starting to turn colour.
Also I know the tension wires have gone all loose. I think the posts, which were already 'rustic' (a euphemism for wonky - well what can you do when you hit granite all the time?), have moved since we redid all the posts and wires here last year. A bit like the self seeded things, I'm quite blase about it all, que sera sera and all that. I'll get raspberries, that's all that matters, although I'm not quite sure how at the moment!
Couple of pics to give you a better idea of the space that I am on about. There are now three blackberry plants in front of the raspberries, two of which are starting to produce flowers. Obviously next year I will be very sensible and pull out any self seeding poppies as the blackberries will be needing space and wires to train onto.
Not just wonky but couldn't even get that middle left post in the ground any further! Believe me I DO use a spirit level whilst the OH is bashing them in from up a stepladder!
As these poppies are so much taller than last year it's really hard to photograph them. The ones which aren't double ones are loved by the pollinators but this chap/ess here is going to have problems trying to find any pollen on this fluffy one.
I've searched back and found a few photos from last year when they were small enough to see inside the flowers. This next one is taken by my OH on his phone. I couldn't crop off his legs!
The seed heads are really decorative too and I dried some of these which are still looking pretty in a vase indoors.
I sent some of these seeds to a friend and she sent me some of hers which were a different colour but I am ashamed to say they are still in their envelope as I didn't know where to put them, once I'd seen that these ones had self seeded. Ideally I think these large poppies need pride of place at the back of some fancy herbaceous border. I do have one plant that came up in the veg patch which is in bud, that one was very well behaved and came up beside the perimeter fence so it's staying put to look pretty. As they take up so much space it is hard to find the right place for them but they are well worth it, if you do have the space!