Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pink Hollyhocks

These hollyhocks (growing in the East Bay garden where I occasionally labor) have received something close to infinite pampering over the past two years while the plant was slowly preparing itself to culminate in this early August blooming at the top of the stalk, high against the sky.

The coastal climate here is too damp for this flower. It is really no kindness to try and grow it here, but there are sentimental connections with hollyhocks from long ago, remembered growing wild in Midwestern alleys.

The snails and slugs too-much adore this lettuce-like foliage. Which is also highly subject to rust, due to the foggy nights.

A month ago we planted the new ground cover (above) under the calla lilies. Green-purple leaves, maroon stems, yellow flowers. Such great colors, and it is starting to spread now.

All my daughter's rose bushes are reaching the end of their second blooming cycle. I spent a lot of time today trimming back branches heavy with overblown blossoms. There will be a few more roses -- lingering through the fall and into the winter -- but prime time is over for another year. This was not a very fortunate summer for the roses. The weather was too unsettled and too cool.