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FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer learns about plants that pop up like weeds

Our yard comes alive with a vibrant splash of colour this time of year, each year. In one corner of the yard, a little patch that started as a couple of plants gifted by a neighbour grew to a bigger patch which, over years, is a big swath now. But though I grumble when I pull out the plants before more go to seed and take over my garden completely, I confess to a fondness for...poppies!

When I first admired them in a neighbour’s garden, she told me they were poppies and offered me a few seedlings, warning me about their propensity to multiply.

But like most people on the planet I am aware that opium comes from poppies, and I took a hasty step back. I had not associated my sweet neighbour with something so dangerous.

“Is that even legal?” I had blurted out before I could word the thought more politely.

She laughed out loud. “Of course it is! I do not have a grow-op in my garden, you know!”
Reassured – she was a very respectable member of the neighbourhood, after all! – I accepted her gift, came home and promptly found a prominent place for them in my garden.

They did well the first year and even better each year. But the number of times I have been asked by passersby what “those plants” are has me seriously considering putting up a little plaque explaining that these are harmless, and that garden centres actually sell them.

I think it’s the distinctive seedheads that people worry about and now I am considering inviting these people over for poppyseed bagels!

That should drive the fear away. I hope!

– Triveni Shome

What’s your story? Every newcomer, no matter how savvy or where he or she comes from, has a Fresh Off the Plane (FOP) story to share about their early days in Canada. Do you want to share your story? E-mail it to us at canadaboundimmigrant@rogers.com.

Posted: Jun 1, 2016

June 2019

Centennial College

Immigration Peel Canada

© CanadaBound Immigrant 2016