From The Desk Of Bill Varga

Streambank wild hollyhock, ‘Iliamna rivularis’, is a slam dunk backdrop for your perennial border.  Unlike the classic cottage garden staple, ‘Alcea rosea’, the native streambank hollyhock can be as wide as it is tall. Often a robust native hollyhock will achieve 5’ x 5’ stature! While classic hollyhocks can be annual, biennial or short-lived perennials, our streambank wild hollyhock is a long lived perennial.  In our water efficient garden in Garland, the sturdy stems stay upright and green throughout the summer.  It also appears resistant to hollyhock rust and other problems associated with the classic hollyhock.    Its pale pink bloom begins mid-June and continues through July, and all this with only what Mother Nature offers in the way of precipitation! And, the flowers are colorful additions to a cool summer salad. Just strip the petals and add to your lettuce, shredded carrots, etc.  It’s been said, all parts of hollyhocks are edible.  Actually, ‘Alcea officinalis’, the marshmallow, was used to help create the fluffy white camping treat we toast and often burn around the camp fire!  Yes! The root of the ‘Marshmallow’ was a constituent in the first recipe for making fluffy white marshmallows!    Not to belittle the classic garden hollyhock. It has its place in the traditional garden and we at Perennial Favorites offer a variety of these classics, but if you need a long-lived, water efficient, bushy back drop in your garden, give the streambank wild hollyhock a go.  It might grow on you.

Aviation Rules and Reminders:

  • Takeoff’s are optional. Landings are mandatory.
  • If you push the stick forward, the houses get bigger.  If you pull the stick back they get smaller. Unless you keep pulling the stick back…then they get bigger again.
  • Flying is not dangerous; crashing is dangerous.
  • The propeller is just a big fan in the front of the plane to keep the pilot cool.  Want proof?  Make it stop; then watch the pilot break out into a sweat.
  • The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.

“Look at this mess!” roared an angry customer at a local café, pointing to his squashed doughnut.  “It’s just as you ordered it, sir,” the waitress replied meekly. “You told me to bring you coffee and a doughnut and step on it.”

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