Oriental poppies

Oriental poppies have been identified as "divas" in the horticultural world, as they grab the garden limelight for ten or so days before disappearing for the rest of the year.

Sector commentator Val Bourne makes her comments in the online pages of the Daily Telegraph, suggesting that they are "indispensable" during the early summer period as they come into bloom before most other perennials.

When it comes to cultivating the poppies, she suggests that they can be grown in full sun or semi-shade, noting they are happiest in well-drained and light soil that warms up well.

"In general, older varieties tend to be taller and may need support in a windy position. More modern varieties tend to be shorter and therefore dont need staking," Ms Bourne explains.

The BBC states that Oriental poppies were introduced into Britain in 1714 and that they were only available in scarlet until new varieties were bred in the 1930s and 40s.