Yes there are other wonderful blues - the bluebell is such a very distinct blue and gentians have a depth of colour that is so rich and velvety - but Himalayan poppies (Meconopsis) such as Meconopsis (Infertile Blue Group) ‘Bobby Masterson’ AGM (left) are just so intense that it’s hard to believe they are real. Perhaps it is because when they are out, everything else around them is also so vibrant and full of life, not yet dulled as the season progresses and matures.
Harlow Carr has had a long history with Meconopsis, stretching back to way before it became the fourth RHS Garden. This is because being further north, the damper, cooler conditions that we have represent more closely those of their natural environment.
We have recently finished a trial for the RHS Award of Garden Merit where 23 cultivars were assessed over three years, and this resulted in many receiving the AGM. While this trial was ongoing we had the plants growing separately from any other plants - one of the requirements for the trial - but now that the trial is over the plants have been relocated and added to the planting along the length of the stream that runs through the heart of the garden.
More information on the RHS Plant Trial of Perennial Blue-Flowered Meconopsis, 2010-2013
Download the Meconopsis trial report
Find suppliers of Meconopsis using RHS Find a Plant