1454. How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli

Old-fashioned flowers! I love them all:
The morning-glories on the wall,
The pansies in their patch of shade,
The violets, stolen from a glade,
The bleeding hearts and columbine,
Have long been garden friends of mine;
But memory every summer flocks
About a clump of hollyhocks.
~Edgar A. Guest

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You may have noticed that I’ve been posting lots of photos of hollyhocks lately. Why? There are two reasons: first because they are one of my favorite flowers and secondly because the hollyhock is a flowering plant of such antiquity that it was found at a neanderthal burial site, where it had stood as a silent sentry for eons. And then after the neanderthal era the hollyhock, a member of the mallow family, was grown in religious gardens around churches and monasteries, and hollyhock seeds were included in the cargo on early ships to the Americas.

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So the tall, showy hollyhock has been used in gardens all over the world and for those tens of thousands of years their chalice-like blossoms, when facing upward, have captured and held countless dollops of daylight while captivating mortals and pollinating creatures alike with their winsome ways. The name hollyhock probably resulted when crusaders brought this versatile plant to England. Holy and hoc (mallow) were the terms associated with it at that time. The sturdy plant gained popularity and even became the subject of a 15th-century poem. However, over the years and sadly, at least hereabouts, less and less of them are to be found in gardens, even gardens where they were once considered a staple.

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Those red hollyhocks are at the back of our lot,
and I think they are even taller than 9 feet.

So the tall, showy hollyhock has been used in gardens all over the world and for those tens of thousands of years their chalice-like blossoms, when facing upward, have captured and held countless dollops of daylight while captivating mortals and pollinating creatures alike with their winsome ways. The name hollyhock probably resulted when crusaders brought this versatile plant to England. Holy and hoc (mallow) were the terms associated with it at that time. The sturdy plant gained popularity and even became the subject of a 15th-century poem. However, over the years and sadly, at least hereabouts, less and less of them are to be found in gardens, even gardens where they were once considered a staple. So I’ve been thrilled that the last two years I’ve been having such great luck with growing them. I especially like that they sometimes reach a height of 9 feet or more which means they tower above all else in a garden; also wherever they grow, the flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Miracles are they then? I think so. The first miracle is that all the data needed to replicate this lovely giant and its flowers is stored In something as small as one of my freckles. The next miracle is that for thousands upon thousands and thousands of years the small seeds have not perished nor failed in their purpose. The third miracle is that the Lord ordained pollinators along with the sun, soil, and water, to be faithful guarantors of the hollyhock’s lifeline.

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How could anything be more amazing than that God not only created all that is and devised ingenious ways for everything He made to be replenished, but that he also valued the importance of beauty as well as purpose. The Lord created not just a human body that needs tangible nourishment but also a soul in the physical body that needs to be fed in spiritual ways, a soul that longs for and seeks its beautiful Source.

Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. -Luke 12:23 ✝

**All photos taken  by Natalie; collages created by Natalie

14 thoughts on “1454. How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli

  1. I did plant hollyhocks in my containers last spring…they did well until late summer and their days were spent.
    I do love them, however, their not so happy disposition in my containers…and my soil is too red Georgia clay in the flower bed, despite my cutting additional soil to help with drainage…so I’m stuck with the petunias 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: 1452. How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence. ~Benjamin Disraeli — Sacred Touches | tabletkitabesi

  3. Reblogged this on Anything is Possible! and commented:
    Last night, I discovered that dear Natalie, the lady with the most beautiful blog I’ve ever seen, has passed on to be with her Creator. For the past two hours, I’ve been looking through her blog for something to share. There is so much goodness and beauty here! I used to wonder why, especially over the past year with her challenging medical issues, did she post so many times per day. Now, I understand that she wanted to spread as much goodness and hope as she could with the time she had. Natalie had a talent for pulling together inspiring and encouraging quotes with beautiful images. She also took gorgeous photos of the flowers in her own garden which you’ll see in this post. I urge you to go through Natalie’s blog if you haven’t done so or even if you have. I’m imagining and believing that Natalie is now dancing in heaven’s magnificent garden. Maybe she’s humming a little tune as she takes care of the roses or tends the sunflowers. I will miss you like crazy and remember you always, dear Natalie, but I know you are home and at peace.

    Like

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