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Poppies (From Washington Post)

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by Adrian Higgins

In northern gardens, poppies are the languid wildlings of summer, the stuff of picnics in the meadow and memorable afternoons. They can be tricked into a great show in the Washington garden, where they explode on the scene in May, linger for two or three weeks collectively and then shrivel in the face of the accumulating heat. They are part of an enormous late-spring bacchanalia that begins with clematis and peonies and embraces catmint, larkspur and the first of the roses and lavender. Even in this crowd, poppies seem outlanders from the north, and their show is all the more tasty for its sense of migration.