Summer doesn’t keep

I looked outside, through the glass door, and found Max asleep in the sun by the falling-over hollyhocks.  Must be July.

sleeping Westie and hollyhocksI know what you’re thinking.

‘Those hollyhocks need staking,’ you’re thinking.

Well I tried that but the immense heavy hollyhocks were tougher than the stakes and just so motivated to fly to the sun, leaning, leaning…  I admire their dedication.

pink hollyhocksThere are some new ones too, started last winter and standing in a row on the south side of the house. (An entire house to support them is about what they need.)

pink hollyhocksI want some blue hollyhocks. I grew the ‘black’ ones once– not the same. I could paint them but I hate painting.

In other news, the Sea Lavender (Limonium latifolia) is blooming. It grows a big rosette of wide ripply leaves at the base…

Limonium latifolium or Sea Lavender

…and sprays of fizzy lavender-colored tiny blooms up above.

These perennials can only grow in well-drained sandy soil, like by the sea–except they grow beautifully here in poorly-drained clay sixty miles from the ocean. (Just so you know to never ever break any gardening rules.)

Sea LavenderThe frothy blooms are like little snowstorms except they don’t melt.

Sea Lavender blooms

You can also dry the flowers and put them in a vase for winter but they are difficult to dust.  (If you use the vacuum cleaner’s dusting attachment you end up with bare stems, which are interesting as some kind of minimalist floral statement for about seven seconds then you throw them out.)

I’m thinking of looking for a recipe for fried green tomatoes.

green tomatoes

Summer is ripping by.

I hope yours is extraordinary, in a good way.

– L

About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
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30 Responses to Summer doesn’t keep

  1. Grace says:

    Hi Linnie Girl, I have always wanted hollyhocks. I finally went and got 3 Lavateras to mimic the look of the stately gem but Lavateras are only a cheap substitute. Then a few years ago I saw this empty lot sporting a towering cherry-red hollyhock and went back for seedlings the following spring. I erroneously planted them in a very dry place and they suffer terribly. My garden brims with mania and only the strong survive and thirst hollyhocks can’t seem to gain a foothold. I’m going to admire yours from afar. In fact maybe I’ll leave them on my screen and do like Max and take a nap next to their image. I bet if you ask Max he’ll tell you his dreams were sweet. Mine will be too. I might even dream of fried green tomatoes or frothy beach flowers. If so I’ll be sure to let you know.

    • linniew says:

      And you should have seen the pathetic lavatera I grew once Gracie. Finally I just put it out of its misery– the only humane thing to do really.

      I shall be waiting anxiously for the description of your dreams…

  2. kininvie says:

    I do like the way things actually GROW in Oregon. But then you have more summer than I do. May I very gently and unobtrusively ask about the clematis?

  3. Roberta says:

    I wish I lived the life of Max, as he is in the top photo at least. We should all be so lucky as to catch a little shut eye under the hollyhocks.

  4. Andrea says:

    Even if i haven’t seen those flowers in person, i always appreciate them in blogs. In my mind, the hollyhocks are the already opened foxgloves and if they are near each other i might not know which is which 🙂 But i know tomatoes, they look the same everywhere. You have a very healthy soil and climate to sustain these growths.

    • linniew says:

      Hi Andrea!
      Foxgloves and hollyhocks both have tall, flowered stems. Otherwise they are very different– but I do understand the confusion if you have never met up with them in person.

  5. sharon says:

    Love your beautiful kitty! and flowers

    • linniew says:

      That is a terrier, apparently impersonating a kitty… They do have some things in commmon, like killing squirrels. I used to have a cat named George and sometimes it does seem that Max is just George reincarnated as a Westie.

  6. Alberto says:

    I love the way dogs cross their rear legs. Anyway those hollyhocks don’t need staking I think. I never stake mine and they are now sniffing the ground indeed. Yours are lucky.

    I found kind of creepy the way you look out from the glass door and the hollyhocks look in from around the corner, as if they were waiting to attack you… Maybe they are also using Max as a bait… Do you have a clean conscience about your hollyhocks??

    • linniew says:

      Dear Alberto
      Really I have never found hollyhocks to be violent or malevolent in any way –or of course I would not grow them right by the door. (They are a little awkward and thoughtless so there are those things to watch out for.)

  7. b-a-g says:

    Hi Linnie – It looks like poor Max has been knocked out by a hollyhock. Do they get more self-supporting year by year ? – well that’s my experience of growing one hollyhock for two years.

  8. Bridget says:

    Extraordinalry wet and sunless here in Ireland. Despite that the garden is doing well! Berries are doing especially well this year. Lots of Blackcurrants for cordial and jam. Wonder what Blackcurrant chutney would be like….maybe not!

  9. The Danish name for hollyhock is actually stokrose, stake rose… I’m not sure whether this should be taken as a sign that they need staking or that they are stakes unto themselves, but yours seem to indicate the latter.

    Either way I clearly need to get my hands on some!

  10. Lyn says:

    Sometimes when I don’t have much time I think I should just skip your posts and go straight to the comments – you and kininvie are so entertaining together. But then I’d miss those beautiful pink hollyhocks, and Max. Oh, and your peerless writing of course – so I guess I’ll have to read everything after all, and just skip someone else’s blog.

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