This first example is the lovely "French Hollyhock" or Zebrina Mallow (Malva sylvestris), one of our favorites. We planted a pack of seeds quite a few years ago and it has now made itself quite at home in the sunnier end of the front Boulder Bed (in fact, this year it achieved 'weed status') and some who are in the way are going to have to move to a bed behind the house or (gasp!) get pulled to make room for other plants. In normal times these blooms should be just covered in bees, but this year, well, our bees have disappeared. (See this previous post for details.)
Hollyhocks (Alcea biennis) are often cited by gardeners as one of their favorite old-fashioned flowers from childhood, and we're no exceptions ... when I didn't have a space to garden (the old apartment days) I always longed to have them in my garden. Well, we're just happy that this one survived to bloom this year! Last year we had several really large plants gearing up to bloom this year, but alas, they served as a tasty dinner for the rabbits in early winter, and aside from some very small seedlings coming up now, it's the only one we'll see bloom this year. I sure wish Pepa could have been around for the Great Mallow Massacre, because she would have at least given those wascally wabbits a run for their life, or even better, a quick escort to the Great Rabbit Reaper. Oh well, we can replace them, but it sure doesn't endear the rabbits to me any more than in the past (when one year they ate and entire bed of Larkspur!).
Enjoy, but please don't eat the Hollyhocks ...
I had planned to include some photos and comments on our 'Prairie Mallows' (Sidalcea malviflora), but Blogger is acting up tonight and freezing up and losing photos and text, so if I can successfully publish this post, I'll consider myself lucky. I guess I've been "Bloggered" as I've seen other bloggers call it. No matter what, it's been a frustrating night in Bloggerlandia. I'm hoping things are back to normal next time, because we've got a lot more going on right now to show off!