Thursday, June 21, 2012

Playing In The Garden

Amy L-V is hosting Poetry Friday today out on the farm.  Be sure to be ready for lots of fun in the out of doors.  Check out all the guests' posts, and thank you Amy for having us.


         I have spent two years trying to start a crop of hollyhocks and finally they seem to be doing well, except the recent terrible heat we've been having is not helping them look top notch.  The first year, they only grew about a foot, and last year, there were just a few stalks.  Now there are about twelve! I was watering the patch today and looking at some of the blooms, remembering one of my grandmother's gardens, where she let me play and imagine with her multitude of flowers whenever I wanted.   Today I played again, with the flowers and with words.











Hollyhock dolls
delight the little girl
playing in the garden of my mind.

In her dressed-up
imagination,
a frilly fuschia skirt twirls.

She runs to snip, then pin
the fairy-green head,
and the leafy arms.

Miss Beatrice Blossom
is a new friend
for playing in the garden.

Lunch will be next.
Field mustard is on the menu.



48 comments:

  1. Oh gosh, Linda! I love this. We used to do this with our hollyhocks, and now I am trying to remember what they looked like...something was so the same, and something a little different. This poem just sings childhood. You have kept your little girl alive indeed! Happy PF, and thank you for sharing our song too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the best I could remember doing. We may have added other kinds of flowers for decoration. Thanks, Amy.

      Delete
  2. What a lovely, touching post. Love Miss Beatrice Blossom -- and I'm a little envious of your beautiful hollyhocks. What a treat to meet the child inside of you :). May I join you for lunch?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lunch in the garden is the best thing going today. It's supposed to be near 100 degrees! Thanks Jama.

      Delete
  3. Beautiful, Linda! Congrats on the flower success after patiently nurturing your garden. I agree you've captured "little girl" perfectly in your poem. And is 'hollyhocks' just one of the most fun words ever, or what?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Robyn. You've inspired me to do a little research. It means 'holy' & 'mallow' (holy & hoc), dates back to the 9th century in Asia.

      Delete
  4. Aww.. we should all have a garden in our minds. (Mine is more weedy right now than filled with hollyhocks...) Wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Irene. There are a few weeds always growing in mine, too!

      Delete
  5. This is really nice, Linda.

    I've never felt so much like a 6yo girl ...
    wait -- that didn't come out right. Oh well.

    I'm going to read this to my 3yo tonight or tomorrow. I really enjoyed this poem.

    Have a nice weekend!

    -Ed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's okay, we all feel like a 6 year old 'something' once in a while. I have a three year old granddaughter, so I'll try it on her too! You didn't say, but is your three year old a girl or boy? Thanks for the compliment. Hope you have a good weekend too!

      Delete
    2. Two girls -- one 3 1/2 and the other 16 months. Lots of fun!

      Delete
    3. I'm sure they're loads of fun! Both are just a little older than my two granddaughters.

      Delete
  6. How lovely, Linda! I tried to grow hollyhocks in my garden when we first moved here from the prairies (where they flourished). But they got all freckled with rust--a damp year I guess.

    I can see how their blooms would light a little girl's playful imagination (the ones in your photo look like little girls). Your poem takes me back to childhood.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We played with the flowers quite a lot I remember & my grandmother had them everywhere. We were always creating something! I do think the hollyhocks need just the right habitat, though. Thank you, Violet.

      Delete
  7. Beautiful poem and pictures! Oh, I'm so sorry it's going to be so hot there. We just got back from the ocean at Gull Haven and are quite refreshed now. Tim read on the rocks while I collected beach glass and watched lobstermen pulling traps. Wish I could send a sea breeze your way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you've made me quite hungry for some of that ocean stuff! I don't think I'm going to make it this year, but maybe later on. I'm so happy you are telling about Gull Haven though-a special time in your life. Thanks, Donna!

      Delete
  8. Linda,

    Your poem brings back memories. We had hollyhocks growing along one side of my childhood home. Ours were light pink in color.

    I enjoyed reading your poem. Like your hollyhock doll.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Elaine. They grow beautifully in Missouri where I grew up, but dry air is not really their best habitat. I am babying them! I'm glad I touched a place in you. Thank you!

      Delete
  9. I love it! I've never seen a hollyhock doll, so how lovely to meet Miss Beatrice Blossom. Thank you, Linda - so sweet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amy mentioned that they did something a little different & I'm not sure this is exactly what I did as a little girl, but it is close. We did all kinds of things with the flowers. Thanks, Renee.

      Delete
  10. I've never tried to grow hollyhocks. I think maybe it's too hot here. But I do understand growing perennials that take several years to take hold of life. It is a wonderfully satisfying feeling when you see them finally grow and bloom. I enjoyed your plaing with flowers and words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These seemed more reluctant than others I thought, but it could be our very dry air. Anyway, they're in a little patch that needed something, so thought I'd try. Thanks Doraine.

      Delete
  11. Hi Linda! I love the garden of your mind :-) Your poem reminded me of another poet, and it took me a while to figure out who: Cicely Mary Barker. Are you familiar with her? Here's a link: http://www.angelfire.com/ms2/ladiesoflove/fairypoems.html The illustrations are adorable.

    Stay cool!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my, Tabatha, no I don't know them, & then when I looked, there was M for Mallow, which are the hollyhocks! These are just lovely, all those imagined fairies, right amongst the flowers! Thank you for finally figuring it out!

      Delete
  12. I've never seen this. I can't wait to show my daughter. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How wonderful is that, Liz. I hope your daughter can figure out some ways to play with the flowers! Be sure to look up the link above from Tabatha.

      Delete
  13. Oh my gosh, eading your poem reminds me of making hollyhock dolls with my best friend, Susie Allen, in a shady spot in her yard. You also make me want to plant some in the jungle that wants to be a garden in my yard!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How cool, Carol, that you also made these dolls! Some have never heard of them, but others, like you, did do it. They are doing well, except for this insane heat, of course. Thanks for telling me.

      Delete
  14. I made them too! I have never been able to get hollyhocks to grow in my yard. Maybe I'll have to try again. I loved this whole poem--especially the line "playing in the garden of my mind..." Just love the way the words came together!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So great to hear about other people doing this! And, it did take some perseverance to get the hollyhocks going. I would think they would do well in your area! Thanks Deb!

      Delete
  15. I want some now too, how delighted both my children would be by these. I can't wait to show them your photo. You have a lot of success here, beautiful flowers blooming and sprawling and a lovely little doll dancing that poem into your mind. I love this all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you can find a big patch somewhere & ask to take a few. They are so prolific once they get going! Thanks Betsy. Glad you had a great time at the All-Write!

      Delete
  16. "the fairy-green head,
    and the leafy arms.

    Miss Beatrice Blossom"
    is now a friend of mine too!
    Thank you for this right-now fresh memory, Linda! I didn't have a hollyhock doll in my repertoire, but I do now.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I so love the purple and the baby pink hollyhocks - the poetry is beautiful too! I can imagine those fairies quite vividly, so do save a seat for me too for lunch. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Myra. So happy you can come! You've been traveling such a lot that I'm glad you can also stop here!

      Delete
  18. Linda,
    Like you I love my flower gardens. I have not tried to grow hollyhocks. Now you have me wondering where I could put them.

    Cathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are so many beauties available, aren't there? They are tall! Thanks, Cathy.

      Delete
  19. Linda - you have such a gift with words. I love this poem and the images it evokes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Karen. You are dear to drop by after all your busy time at All Write (see, I've been trying to see what & who I missed!) Hopefully I can make it next year!

      Delete
  20. Ok, so I'm a little ashamed to admit that I didn't know what hollyhocks were until I read your poem and saw your photos. So thanks for introducing me to them! (You can tell I am not much of a gardner, but I do still appreciate their beauty.) Beautiful poem, and I especially love the imagery in your line about the frilly fuschia skirt!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kerry for the compliment, & I'm glad to have introduced you to them. It's good to learn something new every day, isn't it? We use those words a lot at the school where I work.

      Delete
  21. I, who love dolls of all kinds, am so thrilled to learn of these hollyhock dolls! I never had this pleasure as a child. I would have loved these! What a sweet poem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! We played all sorts of things with all the flowers. My grandmother was an amazingly generous person, & a great gardener!

      Delete
  22. I love both the photo and the poem. The last line, in particular, made me smile. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you noticed that line. No one asked about it, but what I also remember is that we made plates of flowery things that we pretended were lunch. We didn't eat them, just arranged them. And field mustard looked very like corn, at least in my memory now. I do think I liked to pretend quite a lot, so the flowers were a big part of that in the summer. Thanks, Carmela.

      Delete

Having a conversation is a good thing!