End of season beauty in the garden

Hollyhocks in fall

The garden at the end of the season has its own beauty.

Our hollyhocks, which I loved so much when they were blooming at the height of summer, are still standing beside the garden gate.

Hollyhocks in July and December

The weathered wood fence, the barns and silo in the background, the sturdy stalks and the remains of the blossoms say “farm” to me as much as they did nearly five months ago.

Anyone know if I should be cutting back these stalks as I’m putting the rest of the garden to bed for the winter? Any tips for encouraging future blooms (I know hollyhocks are an every-other-year kind of plant)?

6 thoughts on “End of season beauty in the garden

  1. Your choice – I cut some of mine down if they start falling around but leave others for winter interest and to perhaps provide seed for birds in the winter. Important to note that those seed heads will provide future year flowers, so even if you cut the stalks you may want to cut off the seed heads and leave on the ground there or disburse elsewhere in the garden.

    • Thanks for the insight, Chris. Hollyhocks grew pretty much wild in the field behind my parents’ house. No one did anything with them and they came back year after year. It’s a good point about the seed heads. I definitely want these to regrow!

  2. That’s another new perspective to me! I wouldn’t have recognized it as your farm, even though it’s the same as when the hollyhocks were blooming. (They were kind of the focus then, which I guess was the point.)
    I think you do cut the hollyhocks back. If it were me I would take the seeds off and scatter them so you have the best chance of them reseeding, but I don’t actually know, perhaps they’ve already reseeded themselves and those are just husks.
    I really like the contrast between the two pictures! Thanks for sharing.

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