Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Say “Poppy” ~ Think “Peloponnese Springtime”

Regulars here know I lust for the lemons.
I’ve burbled about the orange groves that in full bloom make the air heady with their seductive scent.  But each spring my greatest delight is seeing the wild poppies that along with other wildflowers carpet Greece’s Peloponnese.

It has been a long, chilly, wet winter but signs of spring on this peninsula to the south of Athens are appearing in olive and orange groves, along highways and empty lots. Mother Nature has again sprinkled her fairy dust to create floral scenes fit for Monet’s brush.

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Peloponnese wildflowers
The wildflowers are blooming in The Mani -- in great profusion -- according to our neighbors and friends there. The wildflower season usually begins in March and continues through mid-May, depending on weather conditions. It is well underway and wouldn’t you know it? This year we won’t be there until late May, so will likely miss these sprawling bouquets!

I’ll have to resign myself to looking at photos that I have taken on previous visits (and time next year’s return a bit better).  But I’ve also devised a way to keep those poppies blooming year round – I’ll show you later in this post! But first, here’s a look at some of those flowers. . .

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Fokianos Beach - Peloponnese Greece
On our first visit, two years ago, to the Peloponnese we were tipped off to the beach pictured above by our hotel keeper. ( Finding Fokianos ) He’d said it would be memorable and well worth our trip to find this place and as with most of his recommendations, he was absolutely correct.  What he hadn’t prepared us for were the poppy carpets that framed the views at every turn on the winding road to the beach.

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This delicate flower commonly known as “The Red Poppy,”  is an annual that grows about 12- to 14-inches high and has blooms from 2- to 3-inches wide. It is sometimes called "Shirley Poppy" (after an English vicar named Shirley who studied the species), "Flanders Poppy," "American Legion Poppy", and in England, "Corn Poppy." It is native to most all of Eurasia and North Africa.

DSCF1730 (2)The name “American Legion Poppy” brings to mind those of small paper fundraising remembrance poppies that are patterned after these flowers.

And the “Flanders Field” refers to the place in western Belgium, where during World War I battles raged for four years. Flanders Field, before the war, was covered with the red poppies each spring and summer. Following the war the blooms returned and grow among the soldiers graves there.

 
Despite their rather somber associations, I simply think of sunshine and springtime in Greece when I see them.

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So how do I plan to keep the poppies blooming all year long? Well. . .

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. . .those of you who follow our stories on Facebook know that while we were in Hawaii I found dishware that would be perfect for our Greek house and I ordered sets of six plates and salad plates, a serving platter and two small bowls. Shipping costs are staggering, so we'll take them over as space in our suitcases allows.

We got a good laugh last week when the items were delivered to our Pacific Northwest home in two boxes so large the delivery man had to make two trips to the door . . .so it may be awhile before we get them over there. But they are the key to how my poppies will keep blooming:

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Dinner plate on the left; salad plate on the right
That’s it for this week. Thanks for being with us and as always we appreciate your sharing our blog with those you know by word-of-mouth or by 'sharing' on Facebook. Hope to see you again soon and safe travels until we do!

Of note:

Map picture
Wildflower tours: A number of tours can be found by Googling ‘wild flower tours in the Peloponnese’ – we aren’t recommending any particular tour.  In fact, it might be more fun to rent a car and do it on-your-own. (If you need tips on a route, just let us know.)

The dishes:  Are found at Pier 1, a popular import store in the United States.  They can be ordered on-line if you don’t have a store near you.  (For those who like lemon or olive motifs, they are also available -- and tempting!)

Linking Up this week with. . .
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox 
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route 
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening

42 comments:

  1. How beautiful......love your photos,especially 2nd.

    Enjoy your week!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by. Always nice to hear from you (and to read your blog!) Happy week to you as well!

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  2. The poppies are gorgeous! I really enjoyed your photos, Jackie and Joel. I like your poppy dinnerware too. Have a great week!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed these photos! Thanks much for stopping by today!! Enjoy the week ahead~

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  3. The wildflowers are lovely, as are your plates. I might have had difficulty getting to the beach with all those flowers to admire. Will keep in mind the bloom time for a future visit, with my suitcase full of dinnerware. ;)

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    1. Like the sounds of that Gaelyn! If we could get a few friends to pack just a plate we might have the full set there in a couple of years!! The welcome mat will be out. . .and it is poppy red, as well. :-)

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  4. Those are beautiful, Jackie. Holy smokes, I love that view with the beach in the background! :)

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    1. Those views are so prevalent that I suspect the locals don't even notice them and I am always so stunned that I insist on stopping for 'just one more picture' . . .Thanks for the visit, Mike. Hope all is well with you!

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  5. I have never seen red poppies. Right now we have both California and Mexican poppies blooming all over the state park along the ocean. Poppies don't like our side of the lane. The house across the street is a second home for the owner and without any garden love, the front yard is a huge poppy field. I wish they were blooming for us, but I just have to look out our window to enjoy.

    Thanks for the sweet words on my latest post.

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    1. I am with you - I grew up with bright orange oriental type poppies (that didn't have the negative connotation back then) and California poppies grew like weeds around my childhood home. Maybe that is why I am so taken with these red ones - they are so absolutely different from that which I know. Thanks much for the visit!!

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  6. I also love when the poppies and wildflowers start blooming all over. It's gorgeous. Love your photos!

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    1. Thanks much - glad you like the photos, Corinne. And as always, appreciative of the time you took to visit~

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  7. Beautiful scenes captured. I like those wild flowers.

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    1. Thanks so much for the visit, Rajesh. . .glad I caught your photographer's eye with those flowers!

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  8. Happy that you will have those beautiful poppies with you - eventually. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos. I actually bought a Greece calendar for the boat this year. After reading your posts, just had to have a piece of Greece!

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  9. That is so funny because while we were in Hawaii a calendar of tropical flowers caught my eye and I told Joel I was getting it for the Greek house because we needed a calendar there! You two need to come and do some sailing in our part of Greece - make use of our guestroom as well!

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  10. The Fokianos Beach photo with the poppies in the foreground is GORGEOUS!

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    1. Thanks! Coming from a photographer like yourself, that is a real compliment!

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  11. I remember as a kid growing up in California and delighting in the fields of yellow-orange poppies but these brilliant red poppies are glorious! I also think of sunshine and springtime when I see poppies and they make me smile. Your dishware is a great choice for smiles year round!

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    1. We also had those yellow-orange poppies, California poppies we called them up in Washington State, growing in profusion around our gardens. I didn't appreciate them at the time as I should have! Glad they also make you smile, Anita! Thanks for visiting~

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  12. I also LOVE poppies! These remind me of the poppies we saw along the road in southern Spain. Your photo of Fokianos beach would make a lovely painting.

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  13. Shelley, Don't you love these red poppies blooming all over Europe? So glad you share my love of them! And thank you for that lovely comment on my Fokinos beach photo!

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  14. Those Greek red poppies are totally gorgeous!

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    1. thanks much for stopping by and glad you enjoyed the poppies!

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    1. It has been a long, wet winter in this part of The Mani and signs of spring are most welcome! Thanks for the visit Roger - I look forward to your next book!

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  16. Oh, Jackie, your photo of Fokianos Beach is utterly spectacular - such beauty, such sparkle, and magic! And to think that your neck of the woods is covered in red poppies right now, well that just makes my heart sing. You know, my namesake flower, (in red), is not as easily spotted here in Crete, but when I do come across one, among all the buttercups and daisies, it definitely steals the show of splendour, spreading across the Cretan countryside!

    Thanks so much for these gorgeous photos; I can't stop smiling!!:))

    xoxo
    Poppy

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    1. Well Poppy you know who I had in mind as I wrote this post, don't you?? Looking at these photos of poppies makes me smile as well and I certainly know why you are called "Poppy" - you are as bright and brilliant as these beautiful blooms. Hugs, Jackie

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  17. I toured Greece in the peak of winters, didn't see much flowers there. The plates look beautiful indeed a great way to see poppies through out the year. :)

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    1. Indrani, I do hope you'll be a regular at Travelnwrite, as I hope to be at your wonderful blog!

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  18. I won't grow Shirley poppies in my gardens because they self seed so prolifically but allowed to grow and run in a meadow, they look stunning. You came up with a good idea to enjoy poppies year round.
    I see your comment above to Poppy and when I first saw your photo link, I was sure it belonged to her! :-)
    Thank you for linking to MM Jackie.

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    1. Oh Judith, I wish we could get the seeds to grow them here, (Kirkland) but they aren't for sale - all we have are the Oriental poppies with the big seed pods and the "California poppies" that grow prolifically. I kept hoping Poppy was going to notice that I had 'dedicated' a post to her - she is one of my all-time favorite people!!

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  19. I adore Poppies too!! We really are kindred spirits in so many ways. :-) I keep trying to grow them here in Australia, but have had no luck yet. Hopefully one day. :-)

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    1. Krista, I adore the thought of being a 'kindred spirit' with you!! It makes me smile to think of it. (We can't even get that type of poppy seed around the WA State area and I am certain those agriculture dogs would nail me in a minute if I brought some back -- so I won't. I'll just have to enjoy them when I can. Have a great week! hugs, Jackie

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  20. Replies
    1. Donna, thanks so much for stopping by today! Have a great week~

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  21. I love poppies! They also grow wild in Colorado. The dishes you ordered are beautiful!

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    1. Pat, I think wild poppies are among the prettiest sights in the world. Thanks for visiting. I enjoyed your blog this week ~ see you soon, I hope!

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  22. oh these poppies growing wild are amazing. I can't imagine it. Glorious, despite their somber associations. But how beautiful that poppies would grow where young men fell. Every year I say I will plant poppies. Perhaps I will this year. I love your poppy plates - Enough to brighten any chilly day. Happy travels and thank you for sopping by my blog this week.

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    1. Hi Jill, always fun to see a comment from you - and yes those poppies do brighten the day, don't they? Let me know how yours grow if you do plant them! Happy week - 'see' you again soon!

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    2. Those views of the wild poppies are just glorious!! I do LOVE poppies of any variety. I have had Shirley poppies in the past, and have several good size plants of three Oriental poppy varieties. Always look forward to their blooms in June..

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  23. Also, beautiful views and gorgeous blooms of poppies!!!

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