As you can see we inherited some Hollyhocks. And what fabulous specimens they are too! With all the rain and generally rubbish weather we’ve had up until now Robert and I have let the garden take a back seat. We’ve focused on getting the plants we arrived with out of the pots and trying to keep the lawn short. We’ve failed at the lawn bit but the plants are now in the ground.
This means that a lot of the garden has not been tended to at all. On one hand this is pretty worrying because the weeds are as tall as my children but on the other it means that I have been unable to ‘tackle’ the garden with my usual vigor and inadvertently pull up something I’d regret later. The garden has lived long enough to show us what it is we’ve inherited, and there really is quite a bit that I’m in love with.
Namely these Hollyhocks. They’re so tall, almost as tall as the weeds.
It’s nice to have something to build around such as these. They add height and a certain sense of soft structure, if there is such a thing. When I was very young my worst nightmare was traipsing round gardens. Now of course they inspire me like nothing else and I immediately come home and get the trowel out or start imagining a new nook somewhere.
I think it’s safe to say that the Hollyhocks will be staying. In fact there are clues all over this garden, emerging from under poorly placed hedges, that this place was loved and tended to and thought about in a very ‘English Country Garden’ way. The clues are in the plants that have survived previous owners. Hydrangea, lilac, sedum, hollyhocks, roses etc.
I saw an aerial picture of this house that was taken about fifty years ago and there were steps leading down to the front that are now covered in cement. Right where this hollyhock is actually. The picture was taken in the days when the road out front wasn’t quite as busy so I know why previous inhabitants felt the need to shield themselves somewhat from the cars but it doesn’t drown out any noise if the truth be told because the house is raised up on a slight hill. The noise just goes right over the top so I think Robert and I will be heading down the road of fence to divide the house and garden from the road with neat, shiny and TALL laurel growing along it. A few choice trees will stay but some of the large bushes are not making us feel good, so they’ll go.
Candy stripes. Little miracles, they dress better than I do in their natural state and I have a choice, daily!!
An army of them, tall, outside the front. I don’t want to lose them but I do want to work around them. I’ve a feeling next summer I’ll be loving it even more. The exterior of the house will be white by then too so they’ll look even brighter against it.
And my perpetual buddies.
I walked outside early the other morning and they were silent so I sang the opening lines to Good Mornin’ from Singing in the Rain. I’m not kidding, the chorus of bleating that came back to me was not pleasant in any way. I was clearly being told to “PIPE DOWN”. So I did. I’m not messing with West Sussex sheep let me tell you!
I love you and thank you so much for reading.
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