Hollyhocks Signal Summer’s Last Hurrah

hollyhocks and bunting on the porch

hollyhocks and bunting on the porch

As summer wanes, my hollyhocks mark its passage, each blossom a page in the season’s story.  June finds an optimistic sprout fighting off the early advances of ravenous slugs and resident rust. July showcases a robust adolescent, standing tall above the sword ferns, taking on the foxgloves in a race to touch the sky. August arrives with a floral flourish; plants dotted with color  and devoid of leaves. By month’s end, seed pods begin to chase blossoms up the stalk and portend the inevitable. It is now September, and a few crepe paper petals remain atop each browning tower, eyepopping jewels punctuating the last few days of warmth and sun–each a wand casting its final spell before the rains begin.


  1. That was beautiful! You write well. I have similar things happening here of course, no hollyhocks but abundant foxglove. I like to hear the tiny seeds rattling in the pods and falling like rain when I shake the stem. My dogs are acting as pollinators! When they bushwhack around then then come over for petting, I see foxglove seeds all over them.

  2. I love hollyhocks! Today I found one that has seeded in our gravel driveway! They are so friendly and welcoming, a true “comfort” flower. Wonderful post!

  3. Beautiful post Tom. I love hollyhocks too as they bring back childhood memories – my Mother used to plant them against the milkhouse wall and they always grew so straight and true.

  4. There is something magical about summer especially on Vashon. I hope there are still a few more lazy sunny days to come where you and the bull dogs can relax in the hammock.


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