There are two kinds of Oriental poppies in my garden. One earlier variety resembles a   flamenco dancer’s skirts with row upon row of ruffled petals; the later is plain enough to please a minimalist. Both are a vibrant orange with dark accents meant, I suppose, to attract bees and other pollinators. I have tried Icelandic and California poppies more than once without little success. The older Oriental varieties do better in my insect infested garden. They bloom briefly, they take up lots of room and they have no scent. all this should make them unwelcome in my flower beds, but such as their extraordinary beauty in their brief season that i plan to add other colors this fall–pink to go with the fairy roses, white next to Sombreuil, red under  the Dublin bay climber.
This has been too busy of time to tend flower beds. I was rather late sowing annuals and transplanting tomatoes and basil. I still hope to get around to fencing the veggie garden. If so, I will seed dill, zucchini and a late crop of snow peas. For now, I need to seed a second crop of basil in the only place the deer avoid–right next to my front door.
While I plot and plan I will be sampling Jane Green’s Hot Chocolate Banana Cake. Her novel, Promises to Keep has a number of tempting recipes. I made her version  of the Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies to share with the neighbors. My guy liked them so much I probably will bake a double batch very soon. Green’s banana cake is a chocolate lover’s dream–so rich it dispenses with frosting. I could  post the recipe here but I would rather encourage readers to buy Green’s book.

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