Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hollyhock Dolls

When I was a little girl, many of our neighbors grew Hollyhocks around their homes. My next door neighbor grew pink ones and red ones close to her kitchen door. She grew many other beautiful plants, too, but I remember this one in particular, because she showed me how to make dolls out of them.

My Victorian grandmother once told me, that when she was a child, she didn't have many toys to play with so she and her siblings would make 'hollyhock dolls'--I've always loved them since. I think I"ll grow some hollyhocks for myself this summer.

I don't have a picture of a 'hollyhock doll' of my own, so I'm including one I found on the Internet. Isn't it sweet?

***Have you ever made 'hollyhock dolls' or had any experience with them?

35 comments:

suZen said...

Glad to hear about Abby - let the healing continue! Hollyhocks are a memory of my childhood and my mother and grandma both had them growing profusely - wonder why I don't? I'm going to look into that when I go plant shopping. Thanks for the memory! :)

Patty said...

Loved the story. My Grandmother showed me how to make a holly hock doll and last summer I showed our youngest Granddaughter.

Pat's Place said...

So cute! I don't think holyhocks grow in our neck of the woods, but I remember them from my days in the Panhandle. Never did see hollyhock dolls though.

JD said...

Just adorable! My husband wants to plant some Hollyhocks in our garden. They remind him of his grandmother who used to have lots of them in her yard.

Barbara said...

SuZen- I suspect it is a plant that's often forgotten. It would be a wonderful craft tool for children.

Barbara said...

Patty- It's is so wonderful that you are passing the story and craft down to future generations!

Barbara said...

Pat- My husband says they are difficult to grow in our soil, so I have some research to do.

Barbara said...

JD- Lots of people, years ago, had them all over the place. It seemed to be a favorite of many gardeners.

Joanne said...

I'd like to know how to make these ... Once they're made, can you dry them out or preserve them in some way to display them? I have a curio cabinet filled with a small doll collection, and these would look so pretty there.

Barbara said...

Joanne- Do a google search for 'hollyhock dolls' and you may find the process. There's lots of articles about the dolls on google.

Perhaps, dipped in silicone powder? Seems I've heard of that with other flowers, but I could be wrong. I'll do some research, too.

Barbara said...

Joanne- I looked the process up on google and it recommended silicone crystals for drying flowers. It advised buying them at a large craft store. Hope this helps.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I've never seen them before. How creative! I loved the story too.

Melissa Marsh said...

My mom and I used to make these when I was a little girl. I forgot about them!

Barbara said...

CCDaydreams- They can be absolutely gorgeous. What a great way for a little girl to spend her day.

Barbara said...

Melissa- Oh, what fun that must have been and what a sweet memory!

Lesley said...

I remember seeing Hollyhocks in lots of gardens when I was a child. I've just planted some in our garden this year for the first time. If they grow successfully, maybe I'll get to make a Hollyhock doll. :)

Quite a few of these lovely old flowers seem to be forgotten with and are hardly ever grown now... such as hollyhocks, wallflowers and sweet william.

Barbara said...

Lesley- I think you're right about some of the old ones not being grown much anymore. I haven't heard of Sweet William in ages!

Linda said...

I've never seen a doll like this, but have read about them. Pretty creative! It'll be fun to see your Hollyhocks grow.

Barbara said...

Linda- I read that Emily Dickinson had lots of hollyhocks. I think they were one of the most loved garden flowers of her time.

Denise said...

How exquisite, I have never seen anything like this before and it is delightful. Thank you very much for sharing it.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

thanks for reminding me of Hollyhocks. Do they grow from seed. I tried to find some sweetpea seeds today and couldn't find any. So I got about 3 kinds of nastursioms (sp?) I will get them in my planter soon. I might get some hollyhocks too and see if I can make a doll. I think my Grandma Kephart made them when I was little. You stirred up a memory.

Barbara said...

Lea- Jim tried to grow them a couple of years ago for me. He knew how much I liked them, but they didn't come up. He can't remember if he used seeds or plants. He thinks he used seeds. I had forgotten all about him trying it. You might want to google "how to grow hollyhocks" and find out just how to do it. I think they take lots of care.

Barbara said...

Denise- I'm so glad you enjoyed the posting. And thanks for dropping by. Come back soon.

Cindy said...

Very pretty. I've never heard of Hollyhock Dolls.

Any more news on Abby?

Barbara said...

Cindy- Abby stood up all by herself today... but for only a short time. She had been laying down and all of a sudden stood up. I don't know if it's something that's going to continue, but it made us VERY HAPPY. I have a feeling it's good news.

Sterling Silver jewellery said...

What a love doll! I have never seen like that. Many many thanks to the bloger. Of-course to the designer too.

Marilyn said...

Dear Barbara,
I was so excited to see the picture of the hollyhock doll. I've made many, but have never seen one with a bonnet and arms!

If you remove a sepal on the bud used for the head, you will see the lady's face. Really, just the eyes near the bottom with the flower petals forming a "beehive" hairdo.

For anyone interested: Hollyhocks are biennial. If you grow them from seed, the first year all you get are leaves usually under a foot tall. The second year the plant sends up a flowering stalk 3 to 6 feet tall.

Let them go to seed in your garden, and you should have them year after year.

Barbara said...

SSJewellery- I'm so glad you enjoyed the posting

Barbara said...

Marilyn- Thanks a million for the good info. Jim and I are going to try again to plant them. The last time Jim planted live plants with root systems and they died. He thinks he planted it too deep. What do you think about them dying?

froglander said...

Hollyhock dolls! My grandmother in Minnesota had hollyhocks growing in the flowerbeds on one side of her house. My cousins and I used to make hollyhock dolls and then float them down the river.

Barbara said...

froglander- I've never heard of floating them.

I'm thinking about growing some at the side of my house, too.

Marilyn said...

Dear Barbara,
I haven't a clue why your plants died. They may have been planted too deep as Jim says. Possibly they had too much or too little water. I'm just guessing here.

Barbara said...

Marilyn- I think we're going to try it again and see what happens.

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Greetings Barbara,

You have a nice story about your neighbor, grandmother, and hollyhock dolls. Hollyhocks are such a beautiful, old fashioned flower and making hollyhock dolls is an old time pleasure.

The lovely hollyhock doll that you have on your blog is ours. We have to ask you to remove our image from your blog. Here is a link to our Hollyhock Dolls web site:
http://www.borg.com/~corgyn/hollyhockdolls.htm

These images are copyrighted and we do not allow them to be copied in any form. Instead of having our hollyhock doll image on your blog, perhaps you could provide this link to our web site:

http://www.borg.com/~corgyn/hollyhockdolls.htm

We would be delighted to have you and your readers view our Hollyhock Dolls on our web site.

We appreciate your cooperation.

Diane Shepard Johnson and daughter Sarah E. Johnson

Mary L. said...

Have great memories of making hollyhock dolls. Wish I had some hollyhocks now