365 Frankendael day 81

Today’s photos are from the geveltuin and tree pit, I tend beneath our apartment. I wanted to share this beautiful Hollyhock and to mention some of the forgotten uses of the plant. It is a biennial, flowering in its second year after germinating and this plant arrived by luck two years ago. We have an extremely dry, south facing geveltuin (pavement garden) beneath a bay window. Very few weeds are able to set down their roots and survive amongst the Mediterranean herbs, I have planted there. But this lovely Hollyhock did find its feet and what beautiful flowers we have been treated to this summer! Hollyhock is a member of the Mallow family and can be made into an inflammation calming tea, to soothe sore thoats and bronchitis for instance, a poultice to soothe inset stings and is sometimes used in cosmetics to soften the skin. This Hollyhock serves its purpose by looking very pretty at my front door. Maybe in the next year or two I’ll try some Hollyhock remedies, if it throws down any seeds this summer.

Whilst outside taking the Hollyhock photo, I noticed that a little Tomato plant has sprung up next to yet another welcome guest – Wormwood. I planted the small Lady’s Mantle plant myself, it had self seeded into a roof pot some months ago and I transplanted it downstairs. How nice that Wormwood, a rare plant in the Netherlands, has made it self at home next to it. I don’t think the tomato play will be able to bear fruit this year but it’s very welcome none the less.

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