My neighbor, Robert, has a beautiful garden and this year I noticed he is growing hollyhocks in the loveliest shades of peachy pink. Up against his stone house with turquoise trim, they were begging to be painted. Hollyhocks (Alcea), a classic cottage garden flower, seem to remind everyone of their childhood, and I'm no exception. As a small child, hollyhocks grew in the alley near our house and although I loved the tall flowers which towered over me, I was very afraid of the bees who loved them too. There is much more to hollyhocks than just pretty faces, with modern Japanese cultural significance, in addition to a professional soccer club named after them.