In about 1994, I ordered a huge bunch of daffodils when the price was right and forgot about the order. I was packed and ready to go to a conference in Europe. I can't remember what or where ... must have been an interesting conference. Then to Turkey to seek out ancient female goddesses. The day before I was to leave, the order arrived - 300 daffodils bulbs. My son, Cary, called to wish me a good trip. I told him the bulbs arrived and he came and planted all those bulbs.
I had beautiful bulbs that next spring, and very quickly, I had only one daffodil plant. I don't know what ate them, but some critter had a fantastic feast. I still have that one daffodil. It comes up each year. I don't know which one of the critters in my garden ate them or why this one was never eaten. When I see it each spring, I remember that wonderful trip.
I was on a public bus traveling across eastern Turkey going from Istanbul to Cappadocia. Along the highway every few miles was a caravansarai, a big building built on the ancient Silk Road, camel trade routes from Istanbul to Armenia and points east. These buildings were solid walls, no windows, and open courtyards. Huge double doors were high and wide enough for a man riding a camel to go through with his herd of sheep or goats. The caravansarais were spaced one day's camel ride apart. Inside, on the main floor, was food and water for humans and animals. On the second floor were rooms for people to sleep.
Some of these buildings had been converted to service stations and snack bars. I was outside the walls watching some women sitting under a tree, cooking bread on a big steel plate, sitting on rocks placed over a fire. The bread looked like pan.
Hollyhocks grew along the stone wall and I picked a few seed heads that were not quite ripe but I hoped I could get some viable seeds out of them.
Suddenly, a Turkish man, with dark skin, dark hair and beard, came running toward me, grabbed my seed filled left hand, forced my fingers open and slapped the back of my hand hard. It hurt. He turned and ran away. I stood there stunned, wondering what protocol I had violated.
A moment later he came running back to me with a big grin on his face, carrying a plastic bag full of hollyhock seeds that were ripe. He then proceeded to tell me in Turkish how to plant the seeds. He used his boot to make a line in the dirt, pantomimed putting seeds in the line, and covering them, and then patted the soil down. He pantomimed again watering them with a watering can.
I have the most beautiful hollyhocks growing all through my garden that came from those seeds.