Hollyhock heaven

I was telling my mum today about my red poppy seed plans for the fields around the house. She asked me if I had any ideas for the gardens closer to the house and I said, "I was hoping you'd ask me that".

My mum has a huge garden with lots of roses and cottage plants amongst the most beautiful trees and fountains. Growing up, there were always vases of fresh picked flowers in our home from large bouquets to small fragrant violet posy's. Even now, years later every time I catch the fragrance of Freesias on the breeze I am automatically transported back home.

I must admit I have never been a garden person. In saying that, I have pulled weeds, trimmed hedges and planted Primulas over the years but I have never really sat down and planned a garden. To tell you the truth I didn't think I had any garden knowledge....until I had children.

My son, the Knight, would have been about 3 years old and I was calling him to come in for dinner but he stubbornly refused. I went outside and he was just laying on the grass looking up at the sky. I asked him why he wanted to stay outside and he said "for the nice smell mummy". I realized that he meant the Jasmine that covered the fence and a trellis arch. I had lived with it for so long that I hardly even noticed it any more. I told him it was Jasmine and picked a sprig for the kitchen table and I coaxed him to come inside and eat his dinner. After that day we went for walks around the garden every day with me telling him about the flowers and trees and him finding all the snails, spiders and worms underneath them. Even now 20 years later he still pauses whenever he smells Jasmine on the breeze.

So thank you mum. I do remember all those days in the garden. I can hear you in my head telling me to water the Maple tree, snip the heads of the Hydrangeas, cut me 2 long stem Roses from the Queen Elizabeth, pick a posy of Pansy's for the guest room, scrape some of the duck weed of the pond surface so the fish can breathe better, add these apple peels to the compost heap, look how tall the Hollyhock has grown this year, the wind has knocked the Camellia heads of the bush so lets pick them up and float them in a bowl on the kitchen table.............

When she asked me if I have definite ideas about the garden around the villa, I was proud to tell her that I had many, many ideas. One of them is to have Hollyhocks lining a winding lane to a gate. She has cream, deep red, crimson and deep aubergine hollyhocks and I asked her if she could harvest the seeds for me as it would be like having her home in my garden. She said that they were ready to do now so we picked a huge paper bag full of seed pods. They are now carefully labeled and stored beside the poppy seeds.

So that's 2 garden ideas put in motion. Only 998 to go!

Enjoy these beautiful images of Hollyhocks.

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