poetry and prose about place

garden escapes: mallow

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Mallow was one of the first flowers I had in my garden back in 1980 when we started our own home. Musk mallow (Malva moschata) has deeply divided leaves, papery pink or white petals and a pleasant scent. I loved it so much, I included it in my bridesmaid’s bouquet when I was married.


Mallow often escapes the garden to live in ditches and in fields. In his Flora of New Brunswick, Hal Hinds says vervain mallow (Malva alcea) has escaped to the borders of fields in the Woodstock area of New Brunswick. So, I was on the lookout for the flower when we drove west of Woodstock to look at abandoned properties. And mallow was one of the first plants we found, growing in the ditch.


3 white mallow Dugan road


3B closeup of white mallow Dugan road


We also found mallow growing at the edge of cultivated fields.


60B mallow edge of field BlowdownDSCN1223



Malva moschata


wind-blown and paper

petals transparent

veined, flutter

in wind

the leaves

frayed and notched


petals, perfumed in musk

pale pink and white

roadside edged

in field-flowers, bedstraw

day-lilies, yarrow and vetch

and musk mallow, garden escape


to the edge of the field

to the edge of the road


2B mallow Digan road


Stay home,

wear your mask.

You don’t have to escape.


This work was made possible by a Creations Grant from artsnb!


All my best


Written by jane tims

July 13, 2020 at 7:00 am

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