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Follow our progress as beekeepers, running the nursery, creating our own bee-haven and conducting research into the best plants for bees

Perennial poppies for bees

perennial oriental poppy

perennial oriental poppy

These large poppies provide a really dramatic and reliable spash of colour early in the year - usually late April or early May. They are also really easy and reliable to grow.

The bees seem to really love these. They love all poppies, but these blooms each stay open for about a week providing huge loads of black or dark purple pollen. We have observed both honey and bumble bees coming out with large bulges on their back legs; so heavy they look like they are having trouble flying.

The oriental variety doesnt exactly look natural in a meadow, because the flowers are much larger than the native poppy, but does have the advantage of being perennial so that you can guarantee it will flower every year without fail and is fully hardy. This makes it an ideal garden poppy and has the added advantage that it lends itself to 'succession planting'; after it finished flowering at the end of May you can plan to have another plant grow into its space.  This works well with a later flowering perennial like rudbeckia or helenium.

Click here for shop where we normally stock these poppies

by rosi