Long Live the Turgid Stem

by Christine Breen

But the thing about poppies, which one is inclined to forget when one is standing in the garden admiring their pomposity, is that they make frightful cut-flowers.  Once cut, they wilt, which is most unsatisfying if not downright depressing.

If you are to have any success with bringing your poppies indoors, and I suggest you try, you must take a flame to their bottoms.

Until blackened.

With fire.

A famous British gardener suggests dipping them for 30 seconds in hot water–just off the boil–advising: Collect cut flowers in the morning when the stems are fully turgid.  (Keep your alarm clock and dictionary beside your secateurs!)