Thursday, June 24, 2010


I always loved hollyhocks, but every time I bought some (forget seeds - absolutely no luck with those)they would live for a year and then not come back. In all fairness to my gardening ability, I think some little bug gets in and eats the seeds to keep them from self seeding a lot of the time because when I've tried to save seeds, there is nothing there but some husks. Anyway, about 10 years ago I decided to try again and got a red/rose colored one from Glasshouse Works. I believe it was one that originally came from Ken's parents' farm. Well, it grew and came back and there were always a few. Never a huge amount, so I still think most of the seeds are being eaten. After a few years, there was some variation on the colors, but still all in the rose/red range. This year, for unknown reasons, I have lots of hollyhocks and the color range is wonderful. Here are the eight different ones that are blooming this morning. Some are not really good pictures, but it is really hot out there and these, of course, grow in full sun, so it was a quick trip to get some pictures for the blog and then back inside to my fan.

This first one is probably close to the color of the original plant.

And this one has a texture like a tree peony, rather crepe-papery and translucent.
This is a much darker and clearer red.

This one is perfectly round, no ruffles or anything.

This is a tinier flower with a pretty eye.

This is my favorite. The petals are thin, fringed, and the center eye, though it looks cream colored here, is really a light green. Quite stunning. All of these plants are taller than I am, so there are a lot of flowers on each one. I do hope they seed around a lot. Can't wait to see what shows up next year.

This is a very, very pale pink with a slightly darker eye.

And last, another mostly round one with an edge that is green when it first comes out and then fades to cream. The bumble bees seem to like them a lot!

Hollyhocks like full sun and seem tolerant of pretty much any soil, though I don't think they like wet feet.
Stay cool,


keewee said...

I am rather fond of these old fashioned flowers, you have some very pretty colored there. My favorite is a double soft apricot colored one which is just a year old. I am hoping it will self seed and give me more plants.
I have included a link so you can see my favorite.

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