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Smitten with Hollyhocks

The flowers around Agua Linda Farm really set our venue apart from others in Southern Arizona - especially in the spring and especially the hollyhocks! The first blooms appear every April and by May, the reception yard is flanked with pink, white and crimson flowers on stalks that reach up to 8' tall! The effect on the already beautiful grounds at the farm is magical and romantic.

Hollyhocks are reminiscent of an old English country garden. The stalks are elegant and striking - perfect for a garden wedding, baby or bridal shower or a just-for-fun tea party! For a spring event at Agua Linda, however, these flowers offer more possibilities than just a lovely backdrop for photos - in fact, a whole hollyhock theme can be created around this plant, which, by the way, is edible!

Sweetheart table with towering hollyhocks behind.

1. Though cut hollyhocks in a bouquet do not fare well, I have discovered that if you pinch the small stem of the blooms right at the base, the flowers hold their beauty floating in water. Use a glass bowl filled half way with water and, VOILA! - your centerpieces are done using the flowers that your guests will already be smitten with!

Hollyhocks floating in water for centerpiece

2. Top a beverage dispenser with a dozen or so blooms and serve "hollyhock lemonade" - add a splash of grenadine to your favorite mix to give it a pink tint, or use pink lemonade!

3. Garnish salads with hollyhocks or have a dollop of lemon curd plopped right inside the flower next to a scone or use them to decorate your wedding cake!

Wedding cake decorated with flowers from the garden.

4. A guest at a wedding recently showed me how to make a hollyhock "doll" - darling on top of cup-cakes - very cute for a bridal shower! This photo is of one I just made - here's a how-to link to that adorable idea!

5. What better favor for a hollyhock themed event than a packet of hollyhock seeds for your guests - gathered right from the garden surrounding your reception tables! Cute labels can be made on your computer and stapled to a mini zip-lock bag of seeds or a stamp on a mini envelope with your initials or...? Here is an Etsy link for customizable seed packets. You could put seed packets at table settings or fill a rustic wheelbarrow with a bag of soil and display them with a sign that says, "Let love grow" or "Sewing the seeds of love", or as Ashley and Laura did at there recent wedding at Agua Linda - the seed packets/favors were also seat assignments so their sign read, "Be Seeded" - so clever! I am currently harvesting hollyhock seeds from the garden, so if you are an Agua Linda bride looking for a wedding favor, let me know!

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