Monday, September 03, 2012

Flander Field Flower Gardening project: 100th anniversary of World War 1

In 2014, we will be marking the 100th anniversary of World War 1, the war to end all wars. An absolutely ghastly conflict as the empires of the world squandered their young men, and their wealth and vast amounts of natural resources fighting a stupid war.

You thought the GFC was terrible? You thought the 911 terror attacks were bad? - study history for awhile and you'll realize that events like World War One make our current problems look surprisingly small in comparison.

Anyhow, I thought I'd commemorate the terrible occasion which will last 2014- 2018 by planting Flanders Field poppies in my front garden.

75,000 of them.

You can buy the seeds from this online Aussie site called Diggers Rest.

The link is here:

Its suppose to cover 100 square metres. My front garden is about 80 sq metres. So they should cover it.

Obviously I'm not going to count every seed and I have no patience to grow them in a hothouse before transplanting them.

I'm just going to rake my front flower beds, scatter the seeds together with blood and bone fertilizer and water it in.

Come Spring, we should get a fair idea of how it will turn out.

I still have a lot of sourbob clovers in my garden beds but I'll just remove them bit by bit. We still have 2 more years before 2014 clicks over, so plenty of time to prepare the poppy garden for display.

I anticipate I'll probably have to buy more seeds. Thankfully they are pretty cheap. 75,000 seeds for $46 including postage. If need be, I'll buy another 140,000 next year. I want to get that mass "wow" effect.

Most of the WW1 veterans have passed away. Some of the WW2 veterans are still alive. I hope that my Flanders Field garden will help to encourage them that there are people who have not forgotten their sacrifices.

Postscript: The 75,000 poppy seeds have arrived in a rather small packet, no bigger than a normal envelope. I'm going to plant them this week and see how well they do. But there are still plenty of the oxalis soursob clover in the front flower bed for me to contend with.

Results - Bad news, I only got a 1% success rate. Actually maybe a fraction of that. Possible explanations are - 1. Inadequate Preparation: I didn't till the ground; I just scattered the seeds onto the mulch and the flower beds.

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