It's almost time for these to start blooming. 
I'm surprised to see them at all 
since I thought I killed them last season.  
Every year, I think I've killed all the oriental poppies. 

That's because after they've finished their beautiful show and scattered 
their seeds, they get ugly. Too ugly to leave in the flower bed.
So ugly that I'd rather see bare dirt than their brown, raggedy foliage.
Then I chop them right out of the garden. 
Gone, baby, gone.

But every spring, their silver bristled foliage is among the first to rise 
from the winter-stripped ground. 
What more could any gardener want? 
Beautiful spring foliage with attention-getting buds perched on hairy, twisted stems.
Gawk-worthy blooms—papery-orange petals paired with twinkling purple stamens. 
Extravagantly intricate seed pods that nod and sway, spreading treasure for next season.
AND they come back, even if I rip them out in the fall!
More on growing poppies here and here.

I changed the first photo at the Funny Pho.to website with the "impressionism" tool in the "sketches and paintings" category.
They offer free effects, and it's easy to download your altered photo. 

And I didn't know THIS about poppies, but you probably did.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the 
word of our God stands forever."

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