With the garden tour finished and finally home from vacation we are able to just enjoy the garden. Everything is in bloom and I am overwhelmed with painting and sketching inspiration. I belong to an international postcard exchange group and we send each other a monthly sketch of something we have sketched while exercising or walking. Gardening definitely qualifies as exercise so I thought I would send a sketch of my hollyhocks to Liz in Australia. I planted them last year and they are finally blooming. They must be 7' tall and bloom all the way up their stocks with these huge double blooms, resembling peonies. The flowers start at the bottom of the stock and then move up, blooming as they go, the stocks continue to get taller as the flowers advance. This is causing the stocks to now lean from the weight of the flowers now approaching the top third of the stock. Hollyhocks are definitely an old fashion cottage/english garden flower yet I still love them. As do the snails. The bottom leaves are completely skeletonized, leaving nothing more than some veins.