Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea)
delivered October 13, 2014*
These pink hollyhocks were beautiful and abundant this summer. They are a good cottage garden choice to add height to the garden. Color and height can vary, some of the newer varieties are just two feet tall.
I enthusiastically collected seed, perhaps too much seed. I have enough seed to plant the entire western bank if the Mississippi river for, say, the entire length of our county. Which means, I have plenty of seed to share, if you just want pink hollyhocks, just ask.
Hollyhocks are biennials, and sometimes they will even grow for three years. They will self seed, perhaps giving you a sense of a stand of perennial plants.
These days when I look for new flowers, they are often the old-fashioned flowers that would fit right into any Victorian or cottage garden. There is a reason why these heirloom flowers have survived for hundreds of years. They are hardy, easily adaptable, can survive our temperature extremes and require a minimum of water and care.
I grew them around the outside of the compost been for the same reason grandma grew them around the outhouse. Tall and sturdy, they helped cover a necessary structure that we don’t need to be looking at all the time.
Hollyhock flowers are a favorite ball gown of garden fairies during moonlight dances. But not to worry, you’ll always find the blooms hung up back in the correct place the next day. (They love pink hollyhocks and mimosa flowers for more formal events)
*Becky Funke is in the hospital that does not allow flowers in the rooms. So, not to be deterred, I’ll send them on Pinterest. You can stop by her CaringBridge site to leave well wishes and get updates. The girls (her 3 beautiful daughters) keep the site up to date. #Beckysflowers
delivered 10/9, 2913*
Four O Clocks (Mirabilis jalapa)
Lightly scented jasmine fragrance.
Four O Clocks have always been a part of my life. Which is to say, they’ve been around for ever. When I was a child they were solid bright pink and yellow. Todays Four O’ Clocks are still beautiful, timely and fragrant.
I bought the seed at Renee’s Garden http://www.reneesgarden.com/ . These “Broken Colors” are producing lots of seed right now. And, with any luck, they will self-seed where they are growing. If not, I’ll plant some of the fallen seed I’ve swept up on the sidewalk.
The seed are easy to see and easy to collect. Their delicious jasmine fragrance will have you looking for reasons to walk by them. As heirlooms, you can expect the new plants to look like the old plants.
Renee’s Garden seed is 40% off of all 2013 seed right now. Buying these seed is a good deal, they will grow for you next spring. Check out your other favorite seed suppliers, many have seed discounts this month.
* Becky is in a hospital that does not allow flowers in the rooms. So, not to be deterred, I’ll send them on Pinterest. #Beckysflowers
delivered October 7 *
This is a Queen Elizabeth rose. You can’t walk past it without stopping for a deep smell. Maybe two. Because the rose smells as lovely as it looks. So, look at this sweet pink rose, then close your eyes and take a deep breath. It’s the deep, very classic, fragrance of your dreams.
I rescued this rose from the “last chance table” where all the half dead flowers are. This Queen Elizabeth rose greened right up in a big container on the deck. All it needed was food and water (+ sun).
Roses have a reputation for being difficult to grow. But the industry heard our complaint, “too much work!” I think the rose industry first heard us when they put their hand in their own pocket and it came out empty. We weren’t buying roses. So now, there are many more low maintenance roses. (For example, Knockout roses.)
Even though tea roses still need more attention than other roses, it’s worth having a couple of these roses in my garden. Because a single pink bud of this Queen Elizabeth in a simple bud vase is as beautiful and a whole bunch of most other roses. The few rose bushes I have are far away from each other, crowded and, well mulched. This doesn’t solve all problems but it does reduce them and decreases disease from spreading.
This charming Queen Elizabeth rose always makes me think that it just may have inspired the phrase, “Stop and smell the roses.” It’s heavenly. Enjoy!
* Becky is in a hospital that does not allow flowers in the rooms. So, not to be deterred, I’ll send them on Pinterest.