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Marvelous mallow

By Penny Stine

I’ve been trying to establish a wildflower area out by our mailbox for a decade. It’s still an ongoing process, but it’s finally looking the way I envisioned it when I first scattered the packet of wildflower seeds.

Happily, the grass killer I blogged about earlier in the spring worked! While it did a splendid job eliminating the pesky grass, it didn’t touch any of the flowers or the strawberries. It didn’t touch the weeds, either, but they blend in. Sort of.


I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of perennials, trying to find ones that thrive with infrequent watering and constant neglect. A few years ago, I discovered mallow. This is an amazing plant. I bought two tiny little plants at Bookcliff Gardens. They didn’t do much their first year, growing just a bit and blooming only at the end of the summer.
By the second year, they started spreading. Well one of them did, anyway. Originally, I bought one lavender one and one with dark purple flowers. The lavender one still doesn’t do much, but the dark purple one is already flowering. I don’t think they’ve ever bloomed quite so early.

And they spread all by themselves! How cool is that?




I never used to do much with flowers, but decided to add a few  to my vegetable garden last year. Now I realize that blooming flowers are better than therapy for me and love the way it looks, especially early in the summer when squash, beans, melons and tomatoes are tiny.


Speaking of vegetable gardens, check out this blog from Julie, who works in the Sentinel's online department. She may not be a dirty gardener, but she recognizes a good garden when she sees one. 


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