a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France


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It’s Hollyhock time!

Hollyhocks back border

I never realised what a difference the hollyhocks make to the garden.  They are a bit the emblematic flower of this region of France and now pop up everywhere.

Hollyhock along fence

They are a natural for along our back fence.

Hollyhocks side gdn

But they are happy in rough, partially shady spots.

Hollyhocks rear atelier

They keep us company growing against inhospitable walls.

Hollyhocks front atelier

They’ll fight and win against Acanthus for their right to survive.

Hollyhocks through drainpipe

They pop up in strange places and find the sunshine regardless.

Hollyhock taller than tree

They can grow taller than trees!  Well, O.K. a small tree.

Hollyhock bumble

Of course, they are well-beloved by the bumble bees.

Hollyhock halictes

And are frequented by lots of different solitary bees like this Halictes bee lapping up the nectar at the base of the flower.

Tetralonia ready for the night

The hollyhocks also provide shelter.  I took this picture by flash at half past eight in the evening.  I often find these bees (Tetralonia malvae, I think) asleep for the night.

Hollyhocks self seed easily and it is usually my husband who cannot bear to mow down any that appear in the lawn and who takes the trouble to transplant them.  Now I have got more sunshine in my borders I am going to make sure I help him so we can have even more next year.