I started getting worried around the beginning of June because my matajilla poppies were growing big stems all throughout spring, but weren't making with the buds. Way back in 2006, when I put in the tub of nearly-dead sticks, I was warned that if I managed to get them to live and thrive, down the road there might be a dormant phase, where I would get a big bush of flower-less stems. Thing is, there'd be no advance warning if that happens, and no way of knowing how many seasons that would last.
So when late May hit with no buds, and start of June with no buds, I figured okay, this must be dormant year. I wanted to check with Shane** but he hits the neighborhood way before I'm out of bed in general ... let alone during Fringe.
But! A friend who is a floral design goddess told me that many things are blooming late this season, and though she wasn't familiar with matajilla's, it could be that's what was going on. Sure enough, she was right! About a week or so later, buds started appearing, and now I'm the middle of a beautiful burst of giant flowers that look like food, with many buds on deck. Behold (click to embiggen)!
I count every day, and I think I might hit 200 blooms this season. I love them so.
** So codenamed because if you've seen that movie and met my adviser you'd understand how, spiritually, he's just like Preacher except that he's Mexican and a gardener.