Friday, July 27, 2012

H is for Hollyhocks


Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know that I have always admired hollyhocks.  Satiny, crepe-paper flowers held aloft on tall, graceful stems; I have wanted to have some of these beauties in my garden for years!

Hollyhocks demand a fair bit of real estate however, and I have never had a spot for them...that is until now. In the last few weeks, I have been busy digging up a bit more of our nondescript lawn and now have a spot in the sun that should be perfect for them. 

Hollyhocks usually act as short-lived perennials, but re-seed themselves each year. The single form are said to be more resistant to hollyhock rust and so that is what I think I will try out in my garden next summer.

For now, I will content myself with admiring them in other gardens.


A stand of hollyhocks at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, ON

A private garden in Waterdown, ON

The Royal Botanical Gardens again.





Larkwhistle Gardens on the Bruce Peninsula.


Have a great weekend everyone!

P.S. We finally got some rain. We had a terrible thunderstorm and then it came down in buckets. The garden took a big, thirsty drink. Sadly, a number of area homes caught fire when lightening struck them and now these families are out of house. There always seems to be a little bit of bad to balance any good.

My garden alphabet so far: 'A' is for Astilbe, 'B' is for ButterflyThree 'C's, 'D' is for DelphiniumThe Letters E and F , G is for Geranium and now H is for Hollyhocks

38 comments:

  1. My Swiss grandmother had a beautiful cottage garden with hollyhocks in this colors.The ones in your post are as lovely as the memory I have of her garden.

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  2. I adore Hollyhocks as well. Love them growing along fronts of houses as you sometimes see. I always wonder how on earth that's possible. They seem to sprout from the pavement. I didn't have Hollyhocks in my garden either, not enough sun, but this year I decided it was time to try them in pots. The creamy ones are doing well, finally, they took their time to start blooming, due to the bad, not sunny weather, but this week, we finally had some sun and Hollyhocks and Roses both showed blooms finally. I also bought the darker variety, Nigra, but that one just doesn't show a stem, only leafs so far,.... We'll see what happens. A few days of super weather with sun always results in a thunderstorm here and that's exactly what's coming down on us this very moment. Buckets of rain and thunder. Hope the damage won't be too bad, but there are almost always areas that get flooded. It's only a matter of where it'll be this time. You're so right, a bit of good(in our case, finally sun and summer) is always compensated with some bad, this thunder and rain, although we've had more than enough rain already this summer.
    Bye,
    Marian

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    1. I never thought to try hollyhocks in posts, Marian. It would be interesting to try.

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  3. Malvas are 2-years plants and I lost my malvas because didn't collect the seeds on the second year. In cold winters the seeds dropped on the ground can't survive. I love yours especially white with pink center!

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    1. Malva look so similar to hollyhocks that they make a nice alternative. My neighbour has Malva sylvestris ‘Brave Heart’. This striped little, purple flower can go right on flowering well into October.

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  4. The hollyhocks are so beautiful and I can understand why you would like to grow some in your garden. Mine are a bit beaten down by the rain right now, but should spring back (or I'll support them). I'm sorry to hear about the devastating effects the storm had on some of the homes in your area.

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    1. Thanks Karen. The lightning struck the roof area of one Brampton area townhouse and then spread to several others. The families all got out but lost everything. There were also a few other house fires in the GTA. I feel for the families.

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  5. I like hollyhocks in the right setting, but so often you see ones that have self-seeded in paths, and I think they look odd on their own.

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  6. I love hollyhocks too. But what a variety do you have in your garden. Beautiful!

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    1. Janneke, I'd wish I could take the credit, but these are not my hollyhocks. The majority of flowers shown here are from the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton.

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  7. The second Hollyhock is beautiful, mnay years since we've grown them here, so useful at the back of the border for height and drama.
    Paul

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  8. Jennifer, these are gorgeous.
    Ours did not fare so well this season, I am sure due to the heat and lack of rain.
    Just a few blooms, but I was grateful for those.
    They are such a wonderful flower.

    Wishing you a fantastic weekend!

    xo.

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  9. I finally have hollyhocks started this year. A friend of mine sent me seeds from Montana and they are growing! The seeds had been planted by a previous owner of her property over sixty years ago. I adore that my little pretties have a long history behind them. Her legacy now lives on in Alabama!

    I love your blog. I found you a couple of weeks ago and have been reading back into your posts. Lovely! ~ Lynda

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  10. I haven't grown Hollyhocks since I lived in England - I'd forgotten how beautiful they were.Thanks for the memories.

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  11. What a wonderful selection of hollyhocks at the Botanic Garden, makes me want to grow them next year!

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  12. Delish Hollyhocks, love them all!! I lost a ome to a lightning strike in the 90's...my heart goes out to all affected.

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  13. Hey Jennifer,
    This is one of the most incredible beautiful posts I've seen year Your climate is so more forgiving with its plants than here on the prairie so the quality is superior compare to our plants. You're lucky to have such a good botanical garden to create such displays. As they say in my native Australia": Good onya, Jennifer.
    Best,
    Patrick

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  14. How fabulous, I love your photos!! Have a great weekend Jennifer!

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  15. Beautiful Jennifer! I have admired these but have never grown them. Your pictures are striking! Have a great weekend!

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  16. Hi Jennifer - that's sad about the fires. Finally some rain and that happens.

    As for the hollyhocks - they always remind me of Port Dover - there used to be a stand of them on the sidewalk next to the Erie Beach Hotel -just behind Knechtel's. Every summer I would walk by them and enjoy their beauty. They're gone now.

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  17. Hollyhocks are very pretty flowers. I have a soft spot for cottage flowers.

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  18. Oh I love Hollyhocks to Jennifer. They always bring back fond memories of my Grandma. Those are some beauties you have pictures of. Have a lovely weekend.

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  19. I love Hollyhocks, mine bloom much earlier in late spring...they are such happy plants and you can't have too many. Thanks for the beautiful images.

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  20. I love them too - but will have to be satisfied with my Foxglove that grow so easily in our northwest garden.

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  21. Hi Jennifer
    Hollyhocks are often described as an old-fashioned flower. I guess because they were a staple on old country properties and, as many have mentioned, Grandmother's garden used to have them.
    My best memory of them is in my (late) aunt's country garden in Meaford. Hers was a meandering, not always tidy but fascinating garden. The hollyhocks grew here and there and seemed to fit in with whatever was around them. Very lovely.
    I just noticed that they resemble another flower that's blooming now: the Rose of Sharon.
    Thanks for a great post.

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  22. Love love love them - sooooo beautiful - the slugs chopped the tops of mine this year - but I have grown some from seed and they have been planted out - can't wait to see what colours emerge next year.

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  23. You have me sold on Hollyhocks. I love them. My grandmother had them in her garden and they always remind me of her large garden. Maybe next year I will add some.
    we have had some big lighting strikes too...no houses hit though. it is a scary thing!

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  24. My gosh they look healthy. Many do not grow these beauties for the Rust. Your images are beautiful of them.

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  25. Can we grow these in march in florida??? so pretty

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    1. Sharon, I was able to find a writer for the Orlando Sentinel who talks about the difficulty of growing hollyhocks in a climate where there is no cold winter season. Check out his post here: http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/features_gardening_blog/2009/11/trick-to-growing-hollyhocks.html
      He recommends varieties that flower early.
      Here is a post by a blogger growing Vietnamese hollyhocks in Florida: http://nanak-mygardenpath.blogspot.ca/2011/04/enchanting-hollyhocks.html
      Here is a third article that also recommends Vietnamese hollyhocks for Florida gardens:http://designandtime.com/we/blog/?p=769

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  26. Hollyhocks are the queens of my garden, wherever they decide to grow, I clear away whatever is around them and that's where they stay! I love the beauty and variety of the grouping in your pictures from the botanical gardens :)

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  27. Hollyhocks were one of the first flowers I learned to grow. The sheer size of them made me feel successful. :o) A friends house was hit by lightning last summer and fried all her electronics. Her TV screen actually blew up. Scary! But I'm glad you got some rain.

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  28. Oh my, now I have to add hollyhocks to my project list!!! Amazing and beautiful ( and the boys, too!) Love you site - we too have three dogs in the garden. I mean - IN the garden. DIgging, hunting....terriers, you know. Now, to go off a check out the rest of your site!

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  29. Beautiful holly hocks. I love the singles...

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  30. Jennifer ~ your hollyhock photos are just outstanding. I would think even someone who doesn't like them would rethink that after looking at your post photos. Just gorgeous. I have minimal success here with two doubles ~ the 'Peaches'N Dreams' & a black one. I think they need more sun than they get where I planted tho so I need to move them around. or maybe I'll just collect the seed & spread that around? Your singles are mouth watering tho ~ maybe I don't prefer the doubles afterall?!!

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  31. Beautiful photos, Jennifer! I have a soft spot for hollyhocks, too, because they remind me of my childhood. I used to make little dolls out of the hollyhock blooms. We had quite a few hollyhocks around the farm, all of them from plants started by my husband's grandfather and some from my grandmother's garden. I thought of them as my heirloom plants. But the last couple of years they've really been affected by rust. I'm going to save some seeds this fall and try to start more again next year.

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  32. Gorgeous photos. I wish I could get hollyhocks to work for me but rust seems to be a problem in my garden on hollyhocks and other plants. Must be that east coast humidity. I'll continue to admire them from afar.

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  33. I love this plant, as they remind me of my great grandparents. They always had a patch growing in their backyard near the outhouse. They had indoor plumbing by this point, but did not yet completely trust the newer technology, so the outhouse stayed as backup. Lovely photos!

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