When I started in Horticulture, Papaver Orientale was one of the plants on a college Plant ident. - I remember not being nearly as impressed with the blousy blooms that were almost hidden by Aqueligias, as I was by the stunning Wisteria (must have been floribunda because we learnt about clockwise twisting), or the scented rose hedge.
4 years ago though, I was bowled over by this combination in a client garden
I was even more amazed to find out that this border had been left to it's own devices for years, and throughout that time the early spring to summer show of bluebells, then Poppies and aqueligias looked stunning. (a complete mess later on in the year, but.....)
Since then, Oriental poppies have become an essential part of my planting arsenal, used to fill that colour gap after the tulips, and before the summer penstemons and heleniums.
Here are a couple of my favourite shots taken in client gardens this week
Here punctuating the purple of alliums and foxgloves with scarlet.
And here, even after being beaten back by rain, adding lovely purple and red shades to this border.
I use them teamed with later flowering perennials, so that the tatty foliage of late summer is hidden, - Asters and Sedums can also provide some support for heavy seed heads. i've found the white coloured varieties take a couple of years longer to bulk up, but as reliable early June sparks of colours, in any free draining soil, they are well worth a try.
My Current favourite. - Papaver Patty's Plum