Oriental poppies are the flamenco dancers in the garden lineup: huge, colourful and very, very glamorous. But despite their flamboyant good looks, they are among the easiest of plants to grow, rewarding you with a superb, eye-catching display every summer for years.
Poppies like free-draining soil and a sunny spot, so if you garden on heavy clay add plenty of grit to the planting hole first. They grow happily in tall, roomy containers too. Poppies die back naturally after flowering, so partner them with plants which will hide the gap this leaves in your border: good choices include catmint (Nepeta), asters or heleniums.