Hannelotte.Kindlund@abc.se      March 2002

Home Home Hem


 Anemone etc  Other Ranunculaceae Corydalis Gentianaceae  Meconopsis Primulaceae . Saxifraga
. Campanulaceae   ..Coming soon:  Iris*  Ferns*  Peat Bed*  Rock Garden*  Wood Land*

My Blue Poppy Adventure


This is the blue poppy
Meconopsis 'Lingholm'.

Try to imagine the view of 6000 Meconopsis plants blooming in a field in the middle of Sweden!

I started this project in fall 1999 and hope that it is going to be completed in fall 2003.

I am not a professional gardener and there is a lot I have to learn. It is not an easy task to grow Meconopsis in an open field and there are no previous Swedish experiences to learn from.

The idea of the project is not only to provide a magical view, but also to produce seed.


In the beginning there was an old meadow between the stream behind the trees and my summer house and garden


Our kind neighbour Birger, ploughed the meadow in fall 1999.  

    My friend Göran helped me in May 2000 to spread a layer of peat evenly over the heavy clay. The three 'hills' in the background consist of horse manure, which my husband Sören and my sons spread over the beds, as soon as I have cleaned them from weed

I sowed the plants at home on my balcony in Stockholm and moved them to Övertänger in May 2000.

In June I started to transplant the seedlings into 'Starpots'. In these pots, used in the forest industry, the roots were developing rapidly and after about a month, I could move the plants to a nursery bed. In some beds close to the house, the plants grew on for one more month. After that, I could move them to the field. The 600 plants I planted out in July and August were strong and healthy. In many cases there were already two or three rosettes.

Now I am waiting for next summer, when most of the 600 Meconopsis should bloom for the first time. Meanwhile there is a lot to do: sowing, planning of the irrigation system and weeding, weeding, weeding.......

Fall 2000

Spring 2001

Almost all of the 600 plants, planted in summer 2000, had survived the winter and were looking strong and healthy. My sons and grandsons were helping to prepare the planting of 2 400 new plants this summer.

Maximilian, 6 year old, and Gabriel, 12 years, and their father Erik are spreading horse manure in the end of April 2001

But then.........

While I was at home in Stockholm for some weeks, there were some severe night frosts, the wind was blowing strongly and the sun was burning. When I returned in the end of May almost all the seedlings had died and the plants in the field had hardly any green leafs left. Instead the plants had developed large buds. I was desperate and convinced, that none of the plants would survive.

I started feeding the plants and watering them, watering them, watering them. There was no rain and the strong northern wind continued day after day. But the watering seemed to help and after a week I felt a little more confident. In the middle of June the first plants started blooming. The large flowers opened on unusually short stalks, an effect of the drought.

June 2001

Among all the bright blue flowers, there were two plants with dark violet flowers. One of them died almost immediately without even leaving some seed. But the other one developed into a strong plant, and had at least five rosettes of leafs in fall 2001. I am planning to propagate this plant and call it 'Gabriel Fiedler' in honour of my eldest grandson.

The large flowers are sitting on unusually short stalks

Gabriel Fiedler

Fall/winter 2001

When fall arrived, I could summarise my experiences of these two first years:
Most of the plants had survived the cold and dry spring as well as the long spell of unusually high temperatures in June and July. But I had not been able to increase the number of plants this year. The few seedlings which had survived the spring replaced the plants, which had died in the field. The plants didn't set very much seed and the seed was of bad quality. But that was the same with the Meconopsis in my garden, which in earlier years had provided me with lots of seed of good quality. The bad results have probably been due to the extreme climate that we had experienced this summer. In spite of a lot of bad luck, my conclusions are, that it is possible to grow Meconopsis in an open field - even if there are late frosts, drought and burning sun.

In the end of December 2001 there are already a lot of new seedlings on my balcony and more should germinate during the coming spring. Additionally I sowed some rows in the open field in October 2001. I am going to report about the outcome of my sowing experiments in spring 2002.

New seedlings in December 2001