It’s fun to experiment and very satisfying when an experiment pays off. Last year we had some very good looking self-seeded poppies in our flower beds and in the autumn, when I could hear the seeds rattling in their pods, I took a few handfuls and scattered them on the two beds next to the Orangery, which at that time were planted with dahlias. These beds aren’t in the greatest position for growing flowers as they are in the shade for much of the day, and I thought it would be interesting to see whether the seeds would germinate. In October the dahlias were lifted and in the spring the soil was turned over. I’d almost forgotten about my poppy seeds and we were about to plant out some cutting flowers when I noticed the little seedlings emerging amongst the general weeds. Dozens of them. This is the random, but very satisfying result of a few minute’s work.