Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hollyhocks and Weeds

Even though summer seems to be winding down, the garden is still going strong. Our hollyhocks have finally bloomed -- well, one of them, anyway -- with big ruffly flowers reminiscent of carnations. Not at all what I expected. Dave said he knew it was a double, but to me it looks more like a quadruple!

The ragwort is at its peak, if not a bit past. The bees love it. I have never been so happy that I left a "weed" behind to grow. I don't understand why gardeners don't plant ragwort -- it's beautiful!

(If it proliferates wildly next year maybe I'll have my answer.)

Another of our "weeds," the asters, are beginning to bloom. I just recently heard that these are known as Michaelmas daisies, for the feast of St. Michael at the end of September. I guess that's their peak blooming time. They are quite weedy and tend to spread like crazy, but we try to confine them to one area of the garden and their light purple blossoms are always welcome.

On Sunday I spotted a lone ladybird larva on our inula. It's only the second one I've seen this summer. Seems a bit late in the season -- I hope it can mature through all its stages before cold weather arrives!


  1. Nice that you have ladybugs and bees...How cold are the weather people expecting your winter to be?

  2. You and your passion for ragwort! I suspect it's a deliberate ploy to annoy me......

    The hollyhock, on the other hand, is breathtakingly beautiful.


  3. All lovely and the fact that the bees love the ragwort makes it just that much lovelier!

  4. it will be a while yet before our fall asters bloom.

  5. I have never seen hollyhocks that look like that. They are gorgeous.

  6. Weeds or invasives? In natural areas these plants are not welcome. If an area that is devoid of all natural species let them grow.

  7. Ragwort is a problem for horses and cattle if it's in their dry hay and is a common cause of allergies - in Canada at least. But it's so helpful for bees and other little critters. Those hollyhocks remind me of the tissue paper flowers you might see at weddings, except real! They are lovely.

  8. I was going to say the same as Jenny - I think I made tissue flowers that looked like those hollyhocks! So pretty!

  9. You are def entering next years flower show photo class !

  10. E: I haven't heard any predictions about the cold. Maybe it's too early to tell. We normally get down to right around freezing.

    Alphie: I swear I am not deliberately annoying you. If I MAILED you ragwort, then you could accuse me of such. :)

    Ms Moon: I agree. I am so happy to see bees on any of our flowers.

    Ellen: Well, it makes sense we'd be a bit ahead of you! I guess they're not Michaelmas daisies where you are. :)

    Sharon: I hadn't either! I really like them, though.

    Red: Some of these are common in wild areas here, but they're native plants, so it's not a problem. I think ragwort is mainly an issue in grazing areas because it can poison livestock. But I see lots of it on Hampstead Heath, and there it's fine. (And feeds caterpillars!)

    Jenny-O: Yeah, they DO look like paper flowers! I hadn't heard ragwort is an allergen, but I'm not surprised. (I know ragWEED is an allergen, at least in the states!)

    Bug: Who knew we were growing the world-wide model for tissue paper flowers?!

    John: I know, I am TERRIBLE about entering your show. Remind me next year and I'll see what I can do!

  11. I have never seen such stunning hollyhocks, truly beautiful.
    I planted a lot of California poppies this year and what a bee magnet they are. I am so pleased.

  12. i almost fell into that first photo, so lush and pink.