Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hazel's Hollyhocks

Hazel's Hollyhocks are blooming up a storm against the back fence. She gave me some seeds last summer when I was visiting.

My fondness for Hollys is a throwback from childhood. They grew wild in a back section of our yard, creating a flowering forest when we were little kids.

These days I love them because they're big enough to create a focal point on my long, narrow lot.

Without this pretty distraction, we find ourselves staring at the new neighbors and they at us. Since I'm at the bottom of a hill, I'd need an 18 foot fence to block the view. Hollies can do just that and nobody will complain.

It's hard to miss a Hollyhock when she's blooming. In flower, I see the tastes and personalities of the people who first planted them because I gather Hollyhock seeds from friends.

An easy re-seeder, they come back year after year, with riotous colors on sturdy stalks, towering 5-15 feet.

Tip: Rust is a common disease for Hollyhocks. Avoid it by cutting down and removing all leaves, seeds and stalks in the fall. (Rust disease overwinters in decaying debris.)

1 comment:

Gail said...

Oh Kate they are beautiful, one of these days when I get my gardens going I will have some, never have had any before and I just love them. Thanks for sharing the pictures.