Hollyhocks Around the Barn Door

Growing up on our Indiana farm one had to find their own entertainment.  We didn’t have DVDs, cell phones, Ipods, and very few channels on the television.  I was good at finding things to do around the farm.  I was never bored.

Growing outside my parents’ bedroom window were a group of hollyhocks.  I loved these flowers for one thing only, I could make little ladies with them.DSCN6224

This is how I made them.  When I was a girl, I took little sticks and fastened the flower bloom to the flower bud and then I would have a lovely little lady. This one seems to have a nose and a topknot.


I would play under the hollyhocks for hours making these little ladies.  Mother never seemed to mind that I was using all her hollyhocks for play. Now we have hollyhocks in our garden.  A few years back there were two houses down the road and across the railroad tracks where people lived.  I use to ride my bicycle down the lane by their houses and see the gardens that were growing there.  Then the people all moved out and the fire department came and burned down the houses for practice.  A gravel pit was going in where the houses had stood.  David and I walked back there after the houses were gone and saw all the flowers that were left, so we took shovels and pails and dug up several hollyhocks and brought them home.  Since then, they have flourished and reseeded themselves so that I have several pretty old fashion hollyhocks growing in my garden.






I love flowers that reseed themselves and are so easy to grow.  Hollyhocks never disappoint although they do get bugs on their leaves that will eat them until they look like lace, but we spray them now so they stay pretty.

A few years back I found a quilt pattern called Hollyhocks Around the Barn.  Wish I could tell you who the designer was or the quilt magazine where I found the pattern, but I can’t.  Anyway, I made the quilt and loved how it turned out.  Since we had a red barn on the farm, I made the barn in the middle of the quilt a burgundy reddish color.


I loved how it turned out.  I had folded it away and forgotten about it until recently.  The hollyhocks in my garden reminded me.


The real hollyhocks fade right into the background of the quilt.  It’s amazing how similar the colors are.


I quilted the center “barn” just like our old barn at home with three doors and the windows above.


It’s a simple square and rectangle pattern.  If I can find the pattern, maybe I will make another.  Even though I already have about six or seven quilts I am working on.


Meanwhile, back at the ranch Bonnie keeps her constant vigil on the chickens.  If just one of them would fly the coop she thinks.  Sorry, Bonnie, their wings have been clipped.  But keep on dreaming.

Here’s to hollyhocks, barns and watchful dogs.  Bye.


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