Poppies are distinctive, symbolic herbaceous perennials with delicate, papery flowers in a range of colours from the iconic reds through purples, pinks and whites. Ornamental poppies are the most popular with petals that may be crimped or ruffled, sometimes with bold blotches in the centre, making a wonderful, classic addition to the garden in May and June. Poppies typically grow to less than a metre tall with hairy flower stems and foliage and often produce 'pepper pot' seed heads, which can be cut and used for indoor decorations. Once the flowers have faded, the foliage dies back before having a second lease of life again in August for the end of the growing season. Ornamental poppies are perfect for brightening up the front or middle of the border, combining well with hardy geraniums that will fill the gap when their foliage dies back. Reliable and easy to grow, they're great for filling unused space and once planted will come back year after year, forming graceful drifts over time. Field poppies grow best in poorer soils in full sun, whilst Himalayan poppies prefer a moist, slightly acidic soil in partial shade. Deadhead faded flowers to prolong flowering. If allowed to seed, poppies self-sow, so avoid unwanted spread by removing faded flowers in good time.