They are your blowsy desert flowers with no self-control--they don't need it, for it doesn't do their petals and stems any good. Only the breeze and the sun and the expansive turquoise sky do, filling their open faces with light they collect and send snaking down to their roots where they can store it. They take pleasure in their plot of earth held in place only by the thin, strong threads of life that gather dirt and minerals and water around themselves in a protective nest.
That is these hollyhocks below--the roots and stems that allow them to stretch to the sky and fearlessly blossom into fat, joyful flowers one on top of the other in a noisy cluster. They are not your coy primroses nor your restless impatiens--sounding too much like 'impatience'--that bloom time and time again, already eager to start the cycle once more even as they have not yet made it through their first bloom. They don't care about covering the ground, as does your flowering thyme, more than happy to crawl across the earth in a slow bid for more territory. Nor do they need to make a point of their beauty like the rose, always looking to be the object of everyone's affection.
No, hollyhocks simply are. They are happy in themselves, firmly planted in their nourishing nest of roots, water, soil. These brassy flowers want light and sun around them, growing strong in the heat of the desert, thriving on the kisses of bees and the caresses of dry air. They stretch tall to touch the sky, gifting it with their jewel-toned petals of pink, purple, red. They return the bees' love by offering up their fat stamen coated in pollen. Eat, they tell the bees. Eat. Even when their flowers fade, they still hold strong; it is as if they cannot contain themselves, wantonly spreading their thick black seeds everywhere, letting them spill over flagstone and dirt, peppering flower beds and getting carried away in the wind to find new homes, new nests. They cannot help but multiply. They are living proof that lush, blowsy flowers can blossom--thrive--in any desert.
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