Sunday, 30 July 2017

How does a Hollyhock grow?

 Photo by MF

There he was, almost at the top of my much loved and well-nurtured Hollyhock! 

An early morning visit to the garden, just after the rain - a peaceful, relaxing Sunday morning.  There he was slowly, slithering his way along the long, tall stalk of the Hollyhock.

I tried to flick him off quickly and quietly without causing too much anger and stress (for me or him?).  But he tightened his grip firmer and firmer.  A battle of the wills ensued – his and mine!

I was determined, as was he.  I had grown and nurtured this one single Hollyhock from a small, straggly seedling in a pot.  Last year’s efforts of Hollyhocks had been devastated by his army.  They came, they saw, they ate every leaf and flower in sight.  This year I was determined to win that battle and ensure my garden would sport at least one fully-grown Hollyhock.  It became like an obsession.  I guarded the little Hollyhock seedling, nurtured its growth by staking it, watering it regularly, moving it to a sheltered part of the garden.  I checked regularly for evidence of him and his army. 

The little Hollyhock began to stretch and grow independent of my motherly ways.  It sprang up tall and independent and started to shout to the rest of the garden, ‘Look at me.  Look at me.  How tall I grow!’  Okay, perhaps her voice couldn’t be heard by everyone but on a sunny day with a gentle breeze, it’s amazing what can be heard … if you listen carefully.

He glared with an air of defiance.  I glared back.  He moved slowly.  I moved slower and flicked him off the Hollyhock!  No time to finish his Sunday munch.  He fell to the ground and ambled forlornly into the undergrowth.

She smiled and whispered quietly, ‘Thank you.  Thank you for saving me.’

‘You’re welcome.  Grow tall, my lovely’, I replied.

Slug seizing can be a tiresome job, but someone’s got to do it!