Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Hollyhock

I'm assuming everyone has a nostalgic flower that reminds them of their childhood and hollyhocks are mine. I've probably mentioned before (writing a blog on one subject for seven years it is hard not to repeat yourself) that when I was in kindergarten we lived at a lake in Michigan and hollyhocks grew wild there. We used to pull them apart and make hollyhock dolls out of them. Today when I see them growing all over SJC in the Mission and Old Town, I want to plant some because they grow so easily from seed, but I usually forget until it is too late. This year I actually bought a couple flats of three inch pots that I spotted in a nursery in the spring when I was there for something else. I brought them home and had my helper plant them. I put a flat of white ones in the Moonlight Garden and a flat of violet ones in the perennial garden. The ones in the Moonlight Garden have disappeared. I'm sure they are very tasty to hungry rabbits now that I think about it. A few of the ones in the perennial garden have survived and are blooming, but they are white! I probably should have been more specific about making sure they were planted along a fence or wall out of the way of dogs wandering through the beds sniffing down, well, whatever. And those that have survived are, of course, besieged with rust and mildew, the nemesis of the hollyhock. Some hollyhocks are annuals, some are biannuals and some are listed as perennials, and as we all know, that means little in Southern California where plants just do whatever they want as far as coming and going ( I still have pansies blooming from last fall) so I will try again. This time from seeds, in an out-of-the-way bed along a wall, away from where the bunnies roam. Doesn't it drive you crazy when you see plants growing in ditches that you can't get to grow in your own back yard?


Danielle Bedics, The Magic Garden said...

Sheila, This is my first time to your blog. Your garden is beautiful. This was my first time growing Hollyhocks from seed and they grew 8 feet tall with beautiful blooms. They are still blooming but some of them are flopping over. I have so many seeds! I'm a fan of the cottage garden, so I think they are wonderful. I like what you said about plants in Southern California doing whatever they want. I'm in Pasadena, CA and that is so true! I thought the Hollyhocks would only get foliage this year and bloom the next (according to what I read), but they are full of flowers. And I too have pansies that have been blooming since Fall. They are in a pot and just haven't stopped.

Danielle Bedics, The Magic Garden said...

This is the first time visiting your blog. I love what you said about plants in Southern California doing whatever they want. I'm new to gardening and I live in Pasadena, CA. I planted Hollyhocks this year and according to what I read, they were only supposed to put out foliage this year and then bloom the next. Well they are blooming! And they are 8 feet tall. I am a fan of the cottage garden so I love them. I have a small container garden, but the Hollyhocks I put in the ground. I am limited to what I can plant in the ground because I am a renter. I don't think my landlord was happy about 8 foot Hollyhocks! I also have pansies that have been blooming since Fall! You have a beautiful garden.