Botany-geeking time! Over two years ago, I brought home a tiny young island mallow (Malva assurgentiflora), and planted it in a shady spot across from my desk window.
I had first learned about this species during an environmental horticulture class I took in college, and, several years later, I found one for sale (at the amazing plant nursery Annie’s Annuals). The species is endemic to California, originally growing only in the Channel Islands, and it is quite a lovely plant.
Here’s how it looked then:
Since then, it has grown slowly but heartily, surviving two winters and a pack of rowdy squirrels. It is now almost as tall as my shoulder. And today, I glanced out the window and thought I saw something pink near the top of the plant. I investigated, and indeed: my island mallow has opened its very first flower!
This is a small thing, but this is a thing that makes me very happy.