Aug 17-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: August: Aug 17-06
Reaching tall    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Ron Martinmaki
Hollyhocks galore    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Ron Martinmaki

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 06:46 am:

An old garden standard here in the U.P., the Hollyhock is a hardy flower that has been around for centuries and actually is quite easy to grow. Ron Martinmaki found some perfect specimens of these botanical wonders. First a single, brightly colored shoot, stretching up to the sky, then an impressive display too many to count. They make for a good background plant since they can grow up to eight feet tall, with the flowers opening progressively higher on each stem throughout the season. Do any of you remember making Hollyhock dolls?

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 06:50 am:

Don't you just love hollyhocks? Summer's the best. So much beauty to behold.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 06:54 am:

Althea: marshmallow (really)

By jmac (Jillann) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 06:57 am:

Hollyhocks bring back great memories-they made fantastic dolls with full skirts. We had multiple weddings and parties with these flower dolls while growing up

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 07:04 am:

I'm depressed. I never made hollyhock dolls as a kid. How was it done?

By Randall Ollila (Rwolli) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 07:12 am:

Morning All.
Beatiful pics of flowers this AM. Thank you Ron!
--FYI-- Yesterdays Det. Free Press had this Website listed for those who might be traveling to the UP this is a very good source of Information. Hundreds of links for the Keweenaw and throughout the UP.
Enjoy the day everyone!

By Tom Karjala (Tom) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 07:54 am:

Ron Martinmaki:
Will you please contact me.

Tom Karjala

By Lorelei (Lorelei) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 08:16 am:

First you break off an open flower and insert a piece of a tooth pick into the green secton (skirt). Then you take an unopened bud and place it on the other end of the tooth pick (head). Now you have a doll that just needs another open blossom to place on her head (hat).

Great Fun.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 08:32 am:

Thanks Lorelei, When we lived in South Range as a kid, the little dirt road behind us was full of hollyhocks. I used to eat the button in the center. Dumb, eh?

By Lorelei (Lorelei) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 09:09 am:

As kids, we ate a lot of dumb things too. It's a wonder we weren't sick more often.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 09:31 am:

Dumb yes, but your still around to talk about it, so they couldn't be TOO bad!!! ;-)

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 09:34 am:

Lovely flowers, my grandmother grew them near Big Bay. And a question, are they as buggy as my memory has them? I remember lacy leaves with large areas of just the veins left - of course being a little bugger myself then that's a lot of summers ago to remember and the pics above concentrate on the blossoms.

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 09:55 am:

Jillann, we made dolls also. They were beautiful. My mom also grew something we called Wild Hollyhocks -- they were shorter and the flowers were smaller and always sort of purplish. The bees loved them and we used to catch the bees using baby food jars! Great memories of childhood summers.........

By Ms. Katie (Mskatie) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 09:59 am:

Deb, you poor child! Never a hollyhock doll!? Even us city people made them. My rescued kitty's real name is Holly(hock). I planted some seeds a couple years ago when I put up my bluebird painted mailbox. Looked darling but this time of the year they're pretty narly-looking. Also the dust from our road doesn't help any.

By Paul Oesterle (Paulwebbtroll) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 10:23 am:

Ms. Katie. Hollyhocks and a bluebird mailbox! A neat picture in my mind. Our local post office sent out a memo a couple of years back suggesting that patrons not plant flowers around the mail boxes because it attracted bees and such, causing a potential hazard to the delivery people. (Rural routes)

By Fran in GA (Francesinga) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 10:24 am:

We always made Hollyhock dolls and then sometime we would float them in a tub of water. We also would have weddings. I love hollyhocks and have tried for years to grow them here.They never come up.This year I found a plant at a gardern show. It is growingbut doesn't look like ours did. It didn't bloom this year. I'm curious to see what happens. Maybe it will bloom next year. We ate some wierd things too. There were these little plants that grew close to the ground and it had these little round things that looked like a belly button. We ate them a lot. There was also some kind of thing that tasted like wintergreen. Was a fun time.

By Erica - Florida Keys (Erica) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 10:39 am:

The Hollyhock pictures bring back memories of my grandmother's garden in Traverse City. I spent hours in the sun making Hollyhock dolls. It is a lovely old fashion flower and it comes in so many colors!

By Michael Du Long (Mikie) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 11:04 am:

I planted Hollyhocks in my yard for several years, and they would grow so high then disapear, I figured that the squirells were eating them, then one year the guy who takes care of the yard, he doesn't like being called the gardener says I don't pay him enough to call him that, told me he has been trying for a few years to get rid of that weed in the corner but it keeps coming back. That weed was my Hollyhocks.

By Lorelei (Lorelei) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 11:25 am:

At least your story proves that they are a very hearty specimen, huh? They have to be in order to survive the Copper Country winters. I love them and hope to have some along my garage wall someday. I just keep forgetting to plant them. Do they come in bulbs?

By Kathy P. (Katiaire) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 12:11 pm:

Lorelei, Hollyhocks come either as seeds or plants. I, too, love them, but have not found them to be easy to grow. Each year I plant more in different areas trying to find the spot they want. Notroll, yes I have found them to be buggy. The leaves look like lacework this time of the year.

By Cotton (Cotton) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 12:47 pm:

We have them growing along our fence in the back yard by our garden. They sure are beautiful!!

By lz (Llamamama) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 01:31 pm:

I loved hollyhocks from my days at Tech. Used to remember them growing even in the cracks of sidewalks. Tried several times to plant them here and they failed everytime. This year I noticed something growing out of a small pile of llama poo near the garden. Guess what I finally got!?

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 02:57 pm:

As kids, we used to eat those same "belly button" things that grew close to the ground, that you're talking about. As an adult now, I just have to wonder how many dogs may have lifted a leg on those very same plants! EWWWW! :->
Anyone know what those plants are called?

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 03:03 pm:

Mary, how many peoples stomachs do you think you have turned with one sentance? LOL Mr. Deb

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 03:32 pm:

Mary D.
Those bellybutton things are wintergreen berries and are one of my favorite finds while walking the autumn woods. They are a favorite of partridges, too. The leaves and stems also have that wintergreen flavor but the berries are much more fun to eat and the bellybutton is there to identify them as opposed to bearberry and other little red berries without the bellybutton. At least that's what my father taught me! Another thing I chewed on hunting pats were the twigs of the yellow birch - it also has that wintergreen flavor.

By Connie, Eagle River Alaska (Connie8792) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 03:49 pm:

We used to eat something we called "soursabs", small green thing that grew close to the ground, very sour lol. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about? Now I'm curious as to what we were actually eating....

By Kathy P. (Katiaire) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 04:26 pm:

lz, sent me some of that llama poop...must be what I'm lacking

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 04:41 pm:

I've never grown Hollyhocks but love to see them. They usually seem to grow best in full sun (even here in the South). They do get quite buggy and I think they also get powdery mildew. :(

By jmac (Jillann) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 06:12 pm:

Just in from school- and enjoyed the comments and memories about hollyhock. I had never heard of wintergreen berries--learn something new ever day!

By k j (Kathiscc) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 06:29 pm:

Mary- Ewwwwww!

By patricia landman (Tricia) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 06:36 pm:

Ron, These pictures are glorious!
Your proud sis!!

By Clara Huhak (Mugga) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 06:40 pm:

I'm proud of your pictures, big brother! Beautiful! I wish I was up there with you right now.

By Fran in GA (Francesinga) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 10:49 pm:

Mary, they tasted good at the time!!! I think these were something other than wintergreen.I have seen them in the woods. The "belly buttons" grew in the field in full sun. They grew close to the ground.

By Dale Chisholm (Dchisholm) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 11:14 pm:

In the summer of '72 I boarded with Lydia Holmes on Ave "E" in Dollar bay. She had several beds of hollyhocks around the house. They seemed to be a magnet for hummingbirds - you could count on seeing at least one, often several, on any day it wasn't raining. And since they went from bloom to bloom sipping nectar, they usually stayed in the yard for several minutes each visit.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 11:36 pm:

All my childhood I remember my Grandmother had Hollyhocks all around her yard in Woodside. They seemed to me as a child they were 8 feet tall, maybe they were! We tried to grow them for years living in the suburbs of Detroit with not much luck. Finally moving out here in the country of St. Clair county I've been determined to grow them, and we have! Still tough, and they only get about 4 feet tall but beautiful flowers anyway! Neighbors around here have problems growing them too! Ordered some seeds last 2 years from popular seed catalogs in hopes of "new blood" in the line but they were "back ordered" and refunded! Don't see the seeds or plants at local nurserys etc. What's the problem? Not much demand? Once I saw some growing in downtown Port Huron in a backyard under the Blue Water Bridge! Very tall, thick, colorful and full bloomed in early June! Most I've ever seen in this part of the state!
We have a few plants up at the family cottage in Kalkaska county, but they too are just so-so.
I guess like Thimbleberrys they do better in the UP/Keweenaw!

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