Blue and White in the garden

Aren’t always two flowers, especially in August in Maine, when the sky is cooperating and azure to the max.

white single hollyhock ( Alcea ficifolia)

This plant is a solo pearl, the only absolutely-no-pink-in-it pure white we’ve ever drawn in the self sown hollyhock lottery. Our winnings are usually dark purple, pink, peach, apricot and primrose, a genetic salad all descended from one packet of yellow fig leaf hollyhocks (Alcea ficifolia) I planted years ago in the (vain) hope they wouldn’t get rust.

Today’s other beautiful white on blue may be more of a special taste

crab spider ( flower spider) on hydrangea blossom

White crab spiders, aka flower spiders (Misumena vatia) don’t spin webs. They just lurk among flower petals waiting for likely prey. Although they eat insect friend and foe alike, on balance they do more good than harm. And they don’t bite – at least not so’s you’d notice – so when stowaways show up I just brush them gently into a cupped palm and return them to the garden. I used to take the flower outside and shake or use a twig to dislodge the spider, but hand-transfer is easier. 

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