Published: August 31, 2022


Papaver Lateritium ‘Fireball’

Many of the plants in my garden are way past the stage of losing their white plastic name labels. I swear that there is a black hole full of white plant labels, as they seem to vanish without trace.

I await watching Chris Packham, on Springwatch, introducing us to a rare breed of bird, which builds its nest purely out of white plant labels.

Generally, I know the species of plant but the exact botanic name, more often than not, escapes me. What I do remember is where I obtained many of my plants – more so plants which were gifts. In these cases, their names will never be their original botanic names but the names of the generous, thoughtful plant friends who gave me them in the first place.

These plants are special and evoke such lovely memories of friends, some of whom are no longer with us.

My Papaver Lateritium ‘Fireball’, which I originally thought was a double Meconopsis, until I twigged, that it was brighter, very well behaved (in that it didn’t seed all over the garden and kept to its allotted space) and its leaves are a different shape. In fact, a real gem!

I call mine ‘Marjorie’after the lovely lady and great friend who gave it to me. The plant thrives, as does her memory, especially the one, where she would fall asleep at plant talks, wake up suddenly and shout ‘isn’t he finished yet?’

Maggie Duguid

Text and photos by Maggie Duguid, who is a member of the HPS North East Group.