The Robert Held Art Glass Blue Poppy Collection draws its inspiration from the Himilayan Blue Poppy, or Meconopsis. Robert designed the glass interpretation of the blue poppy after being contacted by Reford Gardens, a botanic wonder located in Québec, Canada.
About the Blue Poppy and the Reford Gardens
The Himalayan blue poppy, Meconopsis betonicifolia or Meconopcis baileyi,, was formally named by Lt. Col Frederick Marshman Bailey, a British officer, in 1912. The plants require special conditions for growing and can be a challenge even for experienced gardeners.
The Reford Gardens, or Jardins de Métis, located 300 miles north of Quebec City, were developed in an area located on the banks of the Métis River In 1926, at the age of 54, Elsie Reford embarked upon a huge project that transformed a spruce forest into a series of spectacular gardens with a notable plant collection. She designed the gardens herself, developed a special recipe for compost, and managed to grow species that were not native to the area, including the blue poppy. The gardens now cover 20 acres of land, have been open to the public since 1962, and are national historic and heritage sites.
Creating Blue Poppy Blown Glass Vessels
Robert Held uses the cane method for creating the blue poppy flowers. This involves adding multiple very thin rods of colour around a central core and fusing them together into a single cane. The cane is then stretched so it is very small in diameter then cut into millimeter-long slices. This close up photo shows the orange central core of the poppy surrounded by 4 thin rods of translucent blue glass which form the petals. Once the blown glass vessel has taken a basic shape, the molten glass is rolled over slices of cane which are laid out on the marver. The cane becomes incorporated into the molten glass and the shape is finalized.
Blown glass vases and bowls are available in the Blue Poppy Collection, all of which make very special gifts. Choose from a clear glass vessel or a background of blue and green. Visit us at the gallery in Parksville or browse our online store.
Blue Poppy Seeds - If you're interested in cultivating the blue poppy, seed can be ordered online from The Butchart Gardens near Victoria, BC. Their restaurant is named The Blue Poppy, another tribute to this stunning plant which they have grown since the 1920's.
For more information on Reford Gardens use this Link
Blue Poppy photograph sourced from rhodygarden.org