marching for peace and beauty (a giveaway)
It’s no secret that my gardening style is passionately relaxed. I start with the idea of planting seeds in rows, and then a lettuce colony erupts in the tomato bed, potatoes sprout from the compost I’ve patted onto the grape vine, and volunteer hollyhocks clog the garden walkways like protesters marching for peace and beauty.
And that is how I end up with a garden like this:
There’s a local county extension agent who, I’ve heard, shows a slide of my garden in his gardening class slideshow, remarking that although mine is a very productive garden, its disorganization makes him want to back away very fast. I dig diversity, the way a honeybee is lured in by the tall, flag-waving hollyhocks and stays to wriggle into the yellow skirt of every squash flower below.
Last fall, I gathered up the seeds of yellow, apricot, cream, magenta, white, pink, crimson and purple hollyhocks. This spring, I’d like to send some seeds to you. To all of you! This is the kind of giveaway where everyone wins. All you have to do is leave a comment (be sure to include your e-mail in the comment form – doesn’t have to be in the comment itself) and I’ll contact you to get your address so I can send you some seeds. Locals, for you, I am giving away hollyhock plants!
Ten reasons to grow hollyhocks:
1) Hollyhocks are in the Malvaceae family (aka: mallow family), along with okra, hibiscus and marshmallow (yes, there is a marshmallow plant). Hollyhocks are mucilaginous like okra; the roots and dried leaves are good in a cold tea for sore throats.
2) All parts of the plant are edible. I like adding the stunning flowers to salads, it’s like dropping precious jewels into your dinner.
3) Hollyhocks cross pollinate, creating wild and surprising offspring. One year we had a hollyhock bloom so darkly purple it was almost black, and then was never seen again. Your plants will be my plant’s kin!
4) Cultivate beauty.
5) Hollyhocks are biennials, meaning they have a 2-year life cycle. In the first year they put out a crown of leaves, in the next they send up a flower stalk, set seed and die. To sow a hollyhock seed is to sow patience and hope.
6) Hollyhocks are easy. They’re the bodhisattvas of the garden. Blistering heat? No prob. Icy nights? Oh, fine. No rain for weeks? Okey doke! Monsoonal rains? Bring it.
7) Hollyhocks attract honeybees.
8) Help me liberate a jar.
9) Once they’re established, you’ll never have to plant them again, and they’re easy to pluck if you start feeling like that county extension agent in my yard.
10) Hollyhocks bloom from July through October.
My baby! (Rose at 2)
And bonus: I’ll include some morning glory seeds too, just because they’re fabulous.
morning glories, assorted colors.
Giveaway closes Friday, May 4th
ps: Raw energy nugget recipe coming! I just have to figure out the whole food-processor thing. I can hear Dan’s voice in my head, um, how about you just *buy* one. He knows I’m more inclined to try and manifest a free/used one while mortar and pestling ten tons of nuts by hand.
pps: I’m hearing that it’s still hard for some of you to comment on this site. Darn. My friend MB offers this advice: I think it is just going to happen to any of us out here who have ever logged into wordpress.com, and used the same email address between that and another blog. so… in case this helps anyone else, it is possible to change their settings within the wordpress.com dashboard so that it links to their real blog. you can also change the email address in those personal settings, if you want to add yet another email address to your life (it will detect it if you try to use any emails you have ever used before onwordpress.com). Does that help?