Those "of a certain age" like myself will remember the song "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary,* among others. The revised version below is what I'm humming in the garden these days . . .
|Zinnia Border at the Master Gardeners' Idea Garden in Urbana, Illinois.|
Where have all the zinnias gone, long time passing?
Where have all the zinnias gone, sown months ago?
|A stand of zinnias in the Children's Garden at the Idea Garden.|
Where have all the zinnias gone?
Washed out in June rains, every one
When will she ever learn? When will she ever learn?
Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know how much I like zinnias. Easily grown by direct sowing outdoors in late spring, zinnias are a great burst of color in late summer when so many other flowers are fading. I planted some seed this year, as I have for the past two years in the roadside garden, but I haven't seen a single seedling this summer. My best guess is that the flooding we had in mid-June which left this area under standing water for several days washed away all the seeds.
I do have Profusion and Zahara zinnias in this garden as well as in containers and other areas. But it's the tall--3-4' foot--zinnias that I love. So this year when the coneflowers fade, there will be no bright splashes of orange, pink, purple, and yellow to take their place. I'll have to go to the Idea Garden instead--which is where all these photos were taken--to get my zinnia fix.
And while I'm wondering, here's a second verse...
|My best hollyhock last year--growing in the compost pile!|
Where have all the hollyhocks gone, long time passing?
Where have all the hollyhocks gone, grown long, long ago?
|One puny white hollyhock this year.|
Where have all the hollyhocks gone?
Fallen to disease? To pests?
We may never learn, we may never learn.
The hollyhocks that have grown here freely for years and years, all from seeds or plants originating with my husband's grandfather or my grandmother, have been very few in number this year. Granted, I pulled out some volunteers that appeared in places I didn't want them, although I left this pink one at the edge of my vegetable garden. Most do not look very healthy, which makes me wonder if they have succumbed to hollyhock rust. Whatever the cause, I'm going to collect as many seeds as I can this fall and hope for the best for next year.
*For other fans of Peter, Paul, and Mary, videos of them performing this song can be easily found on YouTube; I didn't have time to download one here today. I was lucky enough to see them in live performances twice, once in the late 60's at the height of their career and once in the late 90's--they still sounded great then even after 30 years. Sadly, with the passing of Mary Travers last September, their harmonious folk ballads can now be heard only through recordings.
Garden Muse Day is brought to you the first of each month by the talented Carolyn Gail of Sweet Home and Garden Chicago.