by | Jul 19, 2022 | News

The Flanders Poppy flower which symbolises lives lost in conflict, remembered and celebrated annually on Remembrance Day 11 November, is suddenly receiving renewed attention as it comes to symbolise lives lost globally, not only to conflict such as the raging conflict in Europe and elsewhere, but also to the debilitating pandemic which might well be described as a true conflict.

MayFord always had the Flanders Poppy included in our well-known Wildflower Meadow Mix pack, and we are delighted to now launch it in its own smart livery seed packet. The concept is unique, and it deserved a complete departure from our standard packaging design.

Flanders poppy seeds should be sown during winter. It takes about 100 days to flower. Therefore, by the 11th of November, your Flanders poppies will be bright red and blooming! It’s easy to grow and it flowers freely for a long time.


The First World War in 1914 -1918 created prime conditions for poppies to flourish in Flanders and north-west France (and Gallipoli). Continual bombardment disturbed the soil and brought the seeds to the surface. They were fertilised by nitrogen in the explosives and lime from the shattered rubble of the buildings.

Flanders Fields was a major battle theatre on the Western Front during the war where one million soldiers from more than 50 different countries were wounded, missing or killed in action. Entire cities and villages were destroyed, their population scattered across Europe and beyond. Flanders Field is located in Waregem, West Flanders, Belgium, however experts have said the poppy is fast disappearing there due to dramatic changes in the plant life of northern France and Belgian Flanders in the past 100 years.

The poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae was first published in England’s Punch magazine in December 1915. Within months, this poem came to symbolize the sacrifices of all who were fighting in the First World War. Today, the poem continues to be a part of Remembrance Day ceremonies throughout the world:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Look out for the new poppy seed packets in your local leading retailers and garden centres!