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Welcome to Roberta Gibson’s author website.

If you love books or science, you’ve come to the right place. Roberta specializes in nonfiction picture books, particularly about science and nature. Check out the pages in the menu for links to her specialized blogs and websites.

Why Hollyhocks?

History

Some of my earliest memories are of the hollyhocks at my grandmother and grandfather’s farm in the early 1960s. The flowers grew in a forest in front of the weathered tractor shed, stalks of pink, red, and white towering over my head.

Science

Hollyhocks are resilient, fascinating plants. They are biennial, which means the plants spend the first year as a short whirl of leaves, unobtrusively storing nutrients in their roots.

The following year hollyhocks announce themselves to the world by shooting up tall seemingly overnight. All along the sturdy main stem, the buds form and open into trumpets of flowers. Pollinators enjoy the nectar and pollen, and soon round buttons begin to form with neatly aligned seeds, ready to start the cycle again.

Beautiful Fun

Hollyhocks are child friendly. Clumps of the mature plants can become forts, mazes, or hideouts.

The flowers can become skirts and the buds can become heads, to form hollyhock doll characters in an imaginative story.

Plant some seeds and you too will experience the many wonders of hollyhocks.