Wednesday, August 5, 2009


by June

This wet summer, the leaves have rusted right off my hollyhocks. I've been trying to let the poor ragged plants stand for as long as possible so the seeds can ripen, but now that the Japanese beetles are buzzing and chewing, it's time for them to come down.

First, a retrospective of their decidedly old-fashion comfort and glory:

They were planted in the back-porch garden.

And grew so tall that they soon framed the view...
We saw a lot of rain and fog through the stand.

But clearing skies too.

And dazzling sunsets.

And lots of bees at work.

And I finally figured out what to do about the Japanese beetles eating holes in the flowers.
Send the kids to Photoshop camp!
See up above how that flower got chewed to pieces?
Now look again below: Fern fixed that flower right up, didn't she?
Take that, you beetles!


Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Hollyhocks are the one flower I don't have in my garden that I really want. I looked for them this spring and didn't find any. I also looked for foxgloves and none! I will have to look better next year. Great job with the photoshopping Fern! Your hollyhocks are gorgeous!

sarah in the woods said...

Those are beautiful! Nice fix-up. :)

underthebigbluesky said...

when we first moved into our old house it was September so the fun of it was seeing all the flowers that came up the next year and an old crop of hollyhocks were one of the best.

i'm just getting things in the ground here, but thank you for reminding me that i need these again.

hollyhock and fog is my favorite!

vuejardin said...

Your back-porch garden is so beautiful, I love the wood deck.

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

Hollyhocks are one of favorite flowers. I've had trouble with mine too from all this rain. The pics of yours are beautiful! -Jackie

Sadie said...

Beautiful flowers! We only have miniature hollyhocks....I keep meaning to plant some full sized one too.

Sarah / Bee House Hives said...

What a nice back porch to sit on. Hollyhocks are such a beauty in a garden. They are a must I think. I have some that are finally tall and blooming this year.
I love the photo with the bee.. good work fixing that up, cute!

Garden Girl said...

I love hollyhocks. Trouble is that I can only find seeds for doubles over here, and the bees can't get into them so well. Such a shame... the beautiful open flower is so much prettier than a frilly pompom anyway...

Did you get any seeds to save? At least you took photos while they were at their loveliest.

Louisiana Laura said...

Beautiful flowers, sky- so pretty, thanks for sharing.

Sharon said...

I know! Our HollyHocks are struggling too. They still don't have any blooms. And they didn't get very tall -- they look like big lilly pads.

Crazy Summer, isn't it?!

Beegirl said...

Hollyhocks are my favorite. I adore the the photo through the flowers into the fog. We don't have any this year. Not sure why? I didn't realize till now how much I miss their spikes. Thanks for sharing yours. Your deck is wonderful, BTW. Looks like a lovely place to enjoy a summer evening!

JGH said...

Oh wow - those pink ones with the ruffled edges!!I think they did their job for you while they were around. I've tried to grow them a few times - none have ever come back.

Camie | Red Gate Gardens said...

Hollyhocks just seem so positive to me - always reaching higher, such strong stalks, flowers opening wide to take in the sun. Beautiful.

Bloom fine art fotografi said...

Striking.... the images are just striking!
I love the one with the fog.

Toni said...

Hi June! I just read your blog profile. It brought me to tears... it is so beautifully written... Best wishes for the writing career that you dream of!!!!

I love hollyhocks too! Beautiful series of photos... the one with the fog is my favorite!

Aisling said...

I love the flower/fog photo. My hollyhocks have fizzled out over the last several years. I have a few new ones started from seed, which wont bloom until next year, and want to throw in a few more seeds this fall. They are so endearing, with their old fashioned charm!

Thank you for visiting me at my Quiet Country House! :)

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

So Photoshop helps beetles and human to be more at peace over red flower!... ~BANGCHIK

gardenmama said...

What beautiful photos of your hollyhocks! They are certainly a favorite flower of mine as well, yes old fashioned elegance for sure! I once saw a garden with black hollyhocks and rusty colored sunflowers the combination was gorgeous although the pinks are my favorites! The beetles have been feasting on our blueberries... ugh.

Linda said...

That's a great idea to have a retrospective show of all the glory of your hollyhocks.
What does the Japanese beetle look like? I don't think we have them here - yet. Bugs and beasties seem to be jet-setting round the world more and more.

Sarah said...

I also love hollyhocks. We have recently built a house and I'm still establishing gardens. I can't wait to have some!

Utah Grammie said...

Yep, love the hollyhocks and the fog - great shot again!

tom | tall clover farm said...

Nice photos and flowers June, Hollyhocks have always been a flower favorite. This year's garden punchline took four months to be delivered. I planted a seed packet of mixed color singles in May, nuturing and caring for the seedlings until towering spikes. With great anticipation of the color carnival to be, August revealed the joke: every single hollyhock in my mass planting bloomed in white or pale yellow.
;-) Oh well there's always next year...

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