- Author: Launa Herrmann
In my Grandmother’s Nebraska garden, hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) towered like church spires. They added vertical relief and color to the horizontal monochromatic flatness of corn and wheat fields. With childhood’s eyes, I can still see their fluffy petals and fuzzy leaves fluttering in a summer breeze. What I never paid attention to, until now, were the seed pods.
Today as I harvest hollyhock seeds from my garden, I notice that a solitary pod looks like a circular version of bank-rolled coins peeking out of a nap-sack wrapper; and a container full of pods, a decorative item in itself.
So this year, instead of tucking the seed pods onto a shelf in the garden shed to await spring planting, I decide to carry my treasures inside and place them on the kitchen table as one might an ornamental collection. I want to teach my grandson that in the fall a garden’s beauty is often found in little things and unusual places.
After all, we’re never too young or too old to learn, “To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower.” [Quotation by English poet William Blake (1757-1827)]