Mystery Plant Blooms

Gardening is a leap of faith. You can plan, but you must be flexible. Trust in Nature – and you will find joy

“Plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom.” —  Ken Kesey

A couple of years ago, we noticed a strange squash-like plant growing near our garage. We were unable to identify it. We left it alone. This year, it surprised us with its growth. It started off innocuously enough. But, then, like Jack’s titular beanstalk, the plant grew and grew. Seemingly overnight, it towered over our heads.

Then, the plant began to bud – clusters upon clusters of bold tesselation.

We marveled at the sight and greatly anticipated the blooms. What were they? What color?

And, then, on July 3rd, the mystery was solved. The bud unfurled to reveal its flower.

Behold! Glorious Hollyhocks! Deep rose radiates outwards to a delicate blush pink. At first, we had one, then two flowers. Then the buds began to open. Abundant blooms!

Although I am a proponent of native plants, I think that there may be room for some non-natives such as these. Hollyhocks hail from Asia, but they have been popular with gardeners throughout the world for hundreds of years. As long as its not invasive and you have native plants to support the environment, you can enjoy a showy exotic plant or two.

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