Hollyhock - Alcea Rosea 'Nigra'
This week's featured flowers are Hollyhocks! These dark burgundy Hollyhocks bloom from mid-summer into early fall. The flowers are so dark that they look black until you see them up close or happen to catch the sunlight shining through them. This plant gets to be over seven feet tall and puts on a striking display each summer. Our Hollyhocks have suffered from rust & fungal damage for the past couple of years, so the leaves are not as lovely and unblemished as they could be, but that doesn't seem to stop the flowers from blooming beautifully and they still seem to spread a little more each year. The buds are also very pretty and are shaped like little green meringue cookies. I've read that these flowers can be used to make a natural dye and that the flowers, buds, and leaves are all edible. To learn more about about Alcea rosea 'Nigra', check out the Alcea rosea 'Nigra' page at Heritage Perennials, the Alcea rosea 'Nigra' page at Dave's Garden, or the Alcea rosea 'Nigra' page at Gardeners' World.
A few book and blogosphere updates:
1. Do you love zombie stories? If so, you may want to check out The Living Dead 2, a new anthology featuring several fabulous authors including Kelley Armstrong, Carrie Ryan, Brenna Yovanoff, Kelly Link, and Cherie Priest. Want a sneak preview? You can read Carrie Ryan's short story Flotsam & Jetsam here.
2. Cindy Pon is giving away three fun books - Everlasting by Angie Frazier, Wildwing (ARC) by Emily Whitman, and Entwined (ARC) by Heather Dixon. You can enter to win all three books here (ends 9/20).
3. Julie Kagawa shared a teaser from the final book in her Iron Fey trilogy, The Iron Queen. It is full of Ash-y goodness and can be found here.
This fun meme is hosted by Froggarita's Bookcase. Every Friday Froggarita asks five questions so we can all get to know each other better. The only rule is that you can't use the same answer twice within your five! Ready to play? Leave your answers in the comments or leave us a link to your own Friday's Fab Five post.
1. What is your favorite season?
2. What is your favorite activity in that season?
Watching the flowers begin to bloom.
3. Which season do you hate?
Hmm... I don't really hate any season. They all have good and bad points.
The pros of each season: Spring = Flowers! Summer = Fresh berries in the garden! Fall = Pumpkins & Halloween! Winter = Holiday celebrations, sparkly lights, and more hours of daylight from the solstice on!
The cons of each season: Spring = Wet & muddy. Summer = Too hot! Fall = Dark days. Winter = Gray & cold.
5. What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say Autumn?
Halloween. I love Halloween! :-)