Last year some time around the middle of August I noticed a cute little cluster of what looked like squash leaves. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I knew it didn’t look like a weed. We have a lot of burdock and plantain that grows around our property but it didn’t quite look the same.

I knew it wasn’t squash either because it wasn’t growing a vine. It was just a cluster of big round leaves poking up through some violets next to my pumpkin vine that had taken over.

I left it alone. By early spring it was getting quite sizable. It was still too pretty to be a weed, and with how quickly it was growing I was genuinely curious how big it would get. I figured it was hollyhocks, but as there really are a lot of weeds surrounding us I can never be too sure. I didn’t have anything important growing there, so I left it alone.

A few weeks later it started to send up its flower spikes! Score! Now the only questions were what colour is it, and how big is it actually going to get?

The answer was a pale beautiful butter yellow, and at time of post just shy of 10 feet (ca. 3 m) tall!

I have never grown such a tall plant, and it’s definitely the star of my garden this year!

I’m excited to save seeds to share, and while I know that this will be the only year for this particular plant as hollyhocks are biennial not perennial I can’t be disappointed.

For something that was “free” and unexpected it certainly found the perfect spot in my garden and has brought me so much joy this gardening season.

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