A rare sight this year

The other day I posted about all of the pink and purple flowers that are currently blooming in my garden. Well here's one that's definitely NOT pink:

Unfortunately, the poppy blooms are rare this year -- this is only the 2nd one that appeared. Why is this?

Are growing conditions wrong? Did we have too harsh a Winter? Too much rain? Did it warm up too fast? Is there some disease or fungus keeping the plants from blooming? Alas, no. The problem this year is:

Yep. Deer love poppies. Here's what I had back in 2008:

Here's the same bed in 2007, when I had another variety or two growing as well:

Beautiful! This year: 2 blooms.

Too bad they're planted way in the back of the yard, right on what has turned into the main deer "highway" through my garden. I think the only way I'm going to be successful with the poppies is to move them somewhere closer to the house in a less deer-accessible bed.

I wonder if the white poppies would be back this year? There are lots of chomped stems here, so hard to tell:

At least there are a couple of buds left:

Maybe I'll get a chance to see a few more blooms before the deer get a chance to taste them all.

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