Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Grandma's Hollyhocks

Yellow hollyhocksA long long time ago, Grandma Howard had hollyhocks in her yard. This was at the house in Gibbon where she and Grandpa lived. When Grandpa died in 1982, the house was sold and Grandma moved into a retirement community. I was only eleven when this happened so while I remember the house, I really don’t remember what Grandma had planted in her yard or garden. Little boys just don’t pay much attention to flowers. From what I understand Uncle Butch saved seeds from Grandma’s hollyhocks and has been growing them at his house in Crete ever since. Last summer, Mom gave us a big bag of hollyhock seeds that were direct descendants of Grandma’s hollyhocks so we planted them in our yard, along the west side of the house.

light pink hollyhocksAll last summer we waited and waited for the hollyhocks to bloom but nothing really happened. All we got was some sort of bushy and leafy plants that grew to no more than 18 inches high or so. Not having any experience with hollyhocks, we weren’t sure if this was normal or not. Mom had planted some at her house also and said that hers were doing the same thing. I can’t remember where we heard it, but someone told us that hollyhocks don’t do much the first year, but the second year they would come back and grow flowers. We were disappointed but there was really nothing much to do except wait some more and see what happened. All through the summer and even through the winter the hollyhocks remained much as they were. When it got cold they turned partly brown but retained some green color even through the hardest freezes.

dark pink hollyhocksWell, as you can see by these three pictures, the news we heard last year was correct: our hollyhocks are now growing tall stems and produced dozens of buds all up and down the stems. We were pretty excited to see what color they would be. Finally the buds began to bloom and we couldn’t have been happier. In the top picture the flowers look white but they are actually a pale yellow. In the middle picture they are a very pretty pale pink. That particular plant has grown to nearly seven feet tall now and was the first to open up. And in the bottom picture you can see the beautiful dark pink blossoms. We have three hollyhock plants blooming now and got a different color with each. What are the odds? We spent a lot of time waiting for these beautiful flowers but it was definitely worth the wait. Thank you Grandma!

1 comment:

  1. I've always been a plant/flower gal, but had not really ever seen a Hollyhock. What a beautiful flower. I don't like the beetles devouring the plant but it is okay, I'm on it!

    Thanks Grandma! In some small way a part of you is still alive.

    Maybe that's what Jesus meant by eternal life? :D