One of my favorite sights in Hawaii is the hibiscus. They are colorful, they are strikingly beautiful, and they are almost everywhere! For a long time I wished that I could have hibiscus in my own garden, but since it can get well below freezing here, and I think of hibiscus as a tropical flower, I thought I was out of luck. Then Randi ( http://www.RagnazIdnar.etsy.com ) a fellow member of the Eastern Washington team on Etsy, told me about a hardy hibiscus-and she was a real sweetheart and sent me some seeds. Hibiscus seeds are tough little buggers that have to be soaked and nicked with a sharp knife to allow them to sprout. Whatever I did, it was wrong and alas, no baby hibiscus appeared.
Recently, my daughter Amy and I were visiting my parents in Puyallup, Washington, and fate smiled upon me twice. My Mom took Amy and me to a local garden center, and there, joy of joys were some hardy hibiscus! Of course I bought one, and it is now residing happily (I hope!) in my garden. It will bloom in the late summer, with flowers that are a deep purple blue. Swoon!
My hibiscus in front of a pink hollyhock-a flower that is very similar to hibiscus.
That same week, while my parents and Amy were on an outing, I did a little browsing online and found a piece of hibiscus barkcloth I had only seen in a book about barkcloth and had instantly fallen in love with-hoping some day I would come across some. I knew it was not in mint condition, but when it arrived several days later I was speechless to see that it had been used as a sort of drop cloth-covered with paint splatters and varnish stains. After giving it a careful soaking it is now almost paint free, and I can get a nice sized pillow cover out of it. Even with the abuse this piece had suffered, it is still gorgeous…
I am happy that beautiful hibiscus barkcloth is still being made. I just finished this bag using fabric with sunny yellow blossoms and palm trees (another Hawaiian favorite of mine.)
I love the lining fabric for this bag-it’s another retro print that reminds me of the dresses that my Grandmother wore!
I really should add that in the hibiscus department fate has smiled on me three times. As I was doing some weeding the other day guess what I found? A tiny hibiscus plant! So it seems I did something right with those seeds after all!