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My Love Affair with Hollyhocks

Ever since I was old enough to remember spring gardens, I’ve wanted a cottage garden and no cottage garden is complete without Hollyhocks!


I love how they grow proudly above all the other spring flowers. I mean those spires are really something to behold! Did you know they grow to be 8 feet tall?

I tried planting them in Los Angeles, but contrary to what the magazines say…they didn’t grow well in the Valley (which is really a desert of sorts.) They wilted and mildewed and were a mess!

But guess what? I have Hollyhocks growing in my yard and they’re in full bloom! (And I swear they’re climbing straight to the moon!)


I’m filled with joy about these beauties.

I remember being enchanted in the 4th grade when I read The Secret Garden. Even as a little girl I believed that magic can truly happen in the garden and especially hidden behind mysterious doors. If you have a little girl, make sure she reads The Secret Garden.

I truly believe this book started my love affair with cottage gardens and HOLLYHOCKS!

So imagine my delight when this strange looking plant started growing spikes and huge leaves against my trellis. Could it be? Was it going to be…

A Hollyhock! YES it was!

And then imagine my delight when another one started growing in front of it! My neighbor says the smaller one is a Volunteer! I love that.


Here’s the little Volunteer!


Basically it grew from a random seed that rooted itself.

Hollyhocks are better than I ever imagined. They look fragile, but, boy, are they strong. They’ve survived crazy wind and torrential downpours, and tornado watches,with their blooms still in tact. They’re quite amazing, really.

And unlike a lot of flowers in my garden…their show is lasting longer than most.

Maybe it’s because they know how delightful they are or maybe it’s because they only bloom every two years.

I’m relishing them. I talk to them…Bees love them and they’re helping with pollination.

I’m also learning here in Franklin, Tennessee that the bees really have no interest in me.

It’s calm in my garden. There’s peace there.

My bird feeder attracts the most beautiful songbirds – cardinals, bluebirds, chickadees and some other kind of bird I haven’t been able to identify.


The day lilies are also putting on quite a show.


Soon I’ll have butterflies because the butterfly bush is now blooming.


I’m waiting for the humming birds to show up. I have their feeder ready for them and I’m optimistic.


We’re ready to welcome the hummingbirds.


Oh yes…and there is a family of baby bunnies that seem to enjoy hanging out in the garden as well. (The challenge here is to keep Sassy at bay. Not an easy task.)

There’s love in the garden and the amazing thing is that I’m not even obsessing about the weeds.

And here’s more…


Oakleaf hydrangeas are the most divine flowers and right now they’re in full bloom.



No garden is complete without roses and this is my favorite color!



The blueberries are almost ready for picking.



Today I picked the first blackberries from the vine..all 5 of them and they were juicy and delicious!


This is Nature at her finest! I’m dreaming about a farm one day…what do you think?

#oakleafhydrangeas #TheSecretGarden #FranklinTennessee #CindyLaverty #gardening #tornadoesinMiddleTennessee #DiscoveringFranklin #WhatsFranklinlikehollyhocks #springtimegardensintheSouth #beesandpollination #FranklinTN #Arehollyhocksstrongbiennials #DiscoveringFranklinblog #blueberries #blackberries #MiddleTennessee

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