Saturday, April 24, 2010


This afternoon I planted hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) in my garden. I love the sight of tall spires of flowers swaying gently in a spring breeze at the back of a border. There is something about tall spires of flowers (more correctly called a raceme) that resonates with me - has done ever since I was a child. My dad once told me how his dad planted Canterbury bells in their garden every year. Inspired I went out and bought some Canterbury bell seedlings with my pocket money and my love of all things tall was born. I then went on to plant snapdragons in my little patch of garden beneath my brother's north facing bedroom window. As the years went by, these were followed in various gardens by foxgloves, delphiniums, monkshood, penstemon and larkspurs as I explored the world of skyscraper flowers.
I have discovered that you shouldn't plant hollyhocks in front of a movement sensitive floodlight and that larkspurs once cut and hung upside down dry really well and retain their colour. Snapdragons unfortunately seem to always succumb to rust but I love to grow them just so I can show my kids the way each little flower goes SNAP! Delphiniums in their glorious shades of blue are a highlight but why oh why do the slugs and snails love them as much as I do?! Foxgloves are glorious too but seem to need more water than I am able to give them. I've decided its better to see them at their best in the famous hill station gardens near me - the deep volcanic soil, regular moisture and cooler temperatures cause them to grow to well over head height.
I also planted some sweet pea seedlings and seed today but thats another story....

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