Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hollyhocks, Geraniums and Phlox, Oh My!

Hollyhocks remind me of my grandmother and when I think old-fashion garden flowers, they're right there with geraniums, phlox, daisies, gladiolas, and petunias. The old-fashion flowers are the perfect companions for roses, my favorite flowers of all. All of these and more are essentially mandatory if you're going for the English cottage garden style. This was my garden style for a decade or so and I delighted in it.

On the downside, the cottage garden is fairly labor intensive. Weeds are the bane of its existence and weeding is strictly a hands and knees operation. When 2 aspirin and a soak in a hot tub could no longer remedy the aches and pains of a lost weekend spent weeding, I found new homes for many of my old-fashion perennials. I ordered a dump truck load of bark, held onto the roses, and planted a select few specimen plants, like the hollyhocks, amongst the roses.

I'm down to a single large bed, a cutting garden, where I pay homage to the annuals and perennials I love. This year, geraniums, phlox, dahlias, alyssum, foxglove, petunias, zinnias and four o'clocks surround a dozen pink Simplicity roses. The weeds persist, but the task of pulling them out by their nasty little roots no longer seems like a mountain too high to climb.

The pink Simplicity roses have been a terrific choice for this bed. Simplicity is a floribunda introduced to the U.S. in 1979 by Jackson & Perkins. Simplicity is aptly named. The double blooms average just 17-25 petals and give the impression of the single bloom species roses in grandma's garden in those halcyon days before hybrid teas. When given plenty of food and water, Simplicity resists disease well. The most endearing quality, perhaps, is its delicate, perfectly formed buds. A little florist's wire and green tape - voila! - the perfect corsage or boutonniere for that special occasion. This rose grows to about 5', but can be pruned back in early spring and mid-summer to keep it from becoming too leggy. I've seen these planted cheek-by-jowl as a hedge rose, too. Absolutely stunning. They last only 3 or 4 days in a bouquet, but a pretty addition nonetheless.

Speaking of daisies...this low-growing variety is fabulous. Too many years have passed since I first planted it, so I can't tell you what name to ask for at your garden center. Unlike the Shasta variety, these are just 24" tall with a mounded growth habit, so they won't fall over at the first sign of wind stronger than a whisper. Best of all, they last more than a week in the vase. If there's anything more cheerful than daisies, I'm not sure what it is. A single plant is all you'll need. They grow rapidly in a single season and are easily divided in the fall or early spring. In a few years time, you'll have all the daisies you've ever wanted.

Here's a few more photos for you to enjoy...

"Rhumba Fire" zonal geranium, "Dreams Rose" petunias, white dwarf dahlias

"Charleston" zonal geranium - unusual coral pink color

"Blues" zonal geranium - variegated pink with pale pink eye next to "Dreams Rose" petunias

Bicolor phlox, bright pink with white star center

Double coral pink hollyhocks amongst the roses

They say that everything old is new again. If you're looking for a new direction for your garden, maybe some of these old garden flowers will fill the bill.


17 comments:

MissyM said...

Beautiful hollyhock!

Darla said...

What a good post. Your gardens are beautiful.

Brooke (CreativeCountryMom) said...

Just beautiful...love it.

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

I love a lot of the old fashioned flowers too. At one point I had some double hollyhocks, but now just the singles pop up here. That is a very pretty rose that I hadn't heard of before.

Jean said...

Thanks for dropping by and reading my blog. Thanks, too for all the nice compliments.

Nature's Beauty said...

Live your blog and flowers. The hollyhock is beautiful. I noticed your soil is "black" compared to my "red" soil. The July heat has made it very hard. I had to drench it yesterday to plant a daylily a friend gave me.
www.barbsflowergarden.blogspot.com

bathmate said...

really a wonderful blog...



Bathmate

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Genial post and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you as your information.

Anonymous said...

Hi everybody! I do not know where to begin but hope this site will be useful for me.
I will be happy to get some assistance at the start.
Thanks in advance and good luck! :)

Anonymous said...

Nice post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you for your information.

Anonymous said...

Nice fill someone in on and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.

purchase viagra online said...

Hello friend amazing and very interesting blog about Hollyhocks, Geraniums and Phlox, Oh My!

Anonymous said...

hi

hair loss product reviews said...

Gardening is fun but not as easy as it looks it hard work but rewarding..

Anonymous said...

Finding the right sports books and bookmakers to use for your arbitrage sports betting can be a daunting task with the internet now they are everywhere. The list of crooked bookmaking sites that have helped part people with their money and robbed them of their winnings grows longer every day. Being enlightened about this all sports bettors should do their due diligence before signing up with any bookmaker and be sure of their reputation as well as their guarantees on return of winnings. Almost all sports betting sites will have reviews so read them before making your decision on which one you go with.

The Parlay System is one of the most famous of betting systems that are commonly used in horse racing. Many have said that contrary to other sports betting systems, the Parlay System has a pyramiding effect on your profit which means your winnings are played on successive wagers.
[url=http://www.pulsebet.com]betting football[/url]
So you are based in the United States and worried about your money and current situation, right? If so, there is one thing that you should do right away in order to protect yourself. Close down your account, and switch your funds over to an offshore or overseas service. Not only will this ensure that you are doing everything legally, but you will also be able to keep your money safe. If you are like a lot of players you may have quite a bit of money in your online gambling account. Do you want to lose all of that if something happens? It is better to be safe than sorry in this case.

The important thing to note here is that neither of the above approaches is "systemised", although those in the first group believe that they are limiting losses while increasing their winning chances. But what the majority in that first group generally do not take proper account of is how the Bookies have fixed the odds to ensure that they, the Bookies, will come out on top in the long run. What this means is that if you only bet on "favourites" you will eventually lose all your money, although it is true that you will enjoy a much longer period of betting before you kiss your last buck goodbye!

Anonymous said...

Great post. Can’t wait to read the next ones :)