They’ve grown on me


Two years ago my mom bestowed upon me two hollyhock plants. I wasn’t very familiar with them and looked at her helplessly. She, after all, is the Queen of Container plants. She avoids perennials, yet brings them to me (well, they’re biennials, but let’s not worry about that small fact) and entrusts them to my always-a-novice-gardener care.

So I planted them. And they grew. And they were really quite lovely. Big, fat, generous flowers. The faded flowers dropped in attractive clumps along the deck, where I scooped them up. Simple enough.

Yet I had no idea what happened next. As I rarely do with my gardening adventures. I just let most of my plants die back. The ones that seem to need some tidying up get it if I have time. If not, I wait until spring and go out and attack the rotted mess at that point. But these were so withered and brown and hopeless looking, that I yanked them out of the soil, thinking they were spent.

They snuck back in last year, though. Somehow. And in different places. Still along the edge of the deck, but not where they’d been planted before. Seems this is one of those self-sowing varieties. And, although they didn’t do much but grow leaves last year, they certainly got a firm hold on things.

This year they came up in droves, nicely along the deck yet again. They grew tall and strong and gorgeous. Those chubby flowers climbing above the railings and providing plenty of nice scenery. All I need to do to perfect the whole thing is make sure I stake them up next year. They stood tall and firm through the end of June, but the winds of early July made them gangly and bendy. Still, I’ve become a big fan of those hollyhocks.