Finding the Privy 

      Hollyhocks have many symbolic meanings and because they reseed and come back in the spring they are often associated with fertility and the cycle of life. They were planted in abundance in English cottages to promote abundance and fertility in the household. Hollyhocks are often used in funerals, dating back to the Egyptians burying them with mummies, again symbolizing the circle of life and rebirth. The story of Hollyhocks that I found the most amusing was that of the “privy” from Victorian times. Proper ladies in those days did not want to ask where the outhouse (privy) was. How embarrassing and unladylike! So, people would plant hollyhocks around the outhouse. Since hollyhocks are so tall all the ladies had to do, when they needed to visit the “privy”, was to look for the hollyhocks.

 I couldn’t resist using this story as inspiration for my painting.


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