Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hollyhock Dolls - Our Hearts Are With You

I recently came across this picture of my Aunt Kathryn Hawkins, Great-Aunt Emma Hagan Ogle and Aunt Cadd Hawkins standing among the hollyhocks outside their kitchen door. It brought back memories of making hollyhock dolls when I was a child in Jerome. Searching the Internet I found the following picture and article on Through the Garden Gate - Flowers, Food and Life by Jackie Maas.
Hollyhock Dolls - Our Hearts Are With You
At one point or another each summer when I was a little girl, my mother and I would go into her gardens and pick a handful of hollyhock blossoms and buds. We'd take them indoors and carefully peel back the green bits of the bud until only a gleaming white 'face' would appear below an elaborate 'up-do.' Next we'd break off a section of toothpick and thread the sharp end through the base of the blossom into the stem area so a quarter inch or so would remain. Then we'd stick the 'head' onto the 'shoulders' and viola! We had a hollyhock doll.

If we'd really wanted to go all out, we would apply a little dab of bright lipstick to the doll's face to get her ready for a big night. And if we were lucky enough to have hollyhocks in a variety of colors that year, we could mix and match the color of the dolls 'hair and gowns' deep magenta skirt with soft pink hair and vice versa. Very cool.

This year I have a gorgeous stand of deep plum-colored hollyhocks (Alcea 'Nigra'), and I made a couple of dolls to float on water in a shallow dish for table decorations for our Fourth of July celebration. Now if I only had had some bright pink buds for the hair.

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