It’s Hollyhock time!

Hollyhocks back border

I never realised what a difference the hollyhocks make to the garden.  They are a bit the emblematic flower of this region of France and now pop up everywhere.

Hollyhock along fence

They are a natural for along our back fence.

Hollyhocks side gdn

But they are happy in rough, partially shady spots.

Hollyhocks rear atelier

They keep us company growing against inhospitable walls.

Hollyhocks front atelier

They’ll fight and win against Acanthus for their right to survive.

Hollyhocks through drainpipe

They pop up in strange places and find the sunshine regardless.

Hollyhock taller than tree

They can grow taller than trees!  Well, O.K. a small tree.

Hollyhock bumble

Of course, they are well-beloved by the bumble bees.

Hollyhock halictes

And are frequented by lots of different solitary bees like this Halictes bee lapping up the nectar at the base of the flower.

Tetralonia ready for the night

The hollyhocks also provide shelter.  I took this picture by flash at half past eight in the evening.  I often find these bees (Tetralonia malvae, I think) asleep for the night.

Hollyhocks self seed easily and it is usually my husband who cannot bear to mow down any that appear in the lawn and who takes the trouble to transplant them.  Now I have got more sunshine in my borders I am going to make sure I help him so we can have even more next year.

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26 thoughts on “It’s Hollyhock time!

  1. Beautiful flowers. They always very specifically remind me of one neighbor from my childhood who grew a mass of them by her mailbox next to the road.

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  2. Nice . . . we’ve been meaning to plant them, but we literally forget every year.

    However, right now there are two packets of seeds on my counter, and they are going to get planted tomorrow. We’ll not have flowers until next year, so meanwhile we’ll look at yours (pictures – we’re not traveling to Europe for Hollyhocks).

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  3. At Niall and Antoinette’s home…
    [of the “Chez Charnizay” blog further up the Aigronne Valley]….
    there is a wonderful antique pink specimen….
    a volunteer, too…
    but it is so strong at the root, it is lifting and breaking a 2″ thick concrete path!!
    Be warned…
    plant them where they can thrive…
    but do no damage.

    Pauline has sown some of its offspring…
    and we now have two beauties on their way….
    she’s also raised healthy youngsters from a packet of bought seed…
    not sure what variety, but they are apparently a rich red.
    I purchased a black one that has yet to flower….
    it doesn’t like it in the temporary pot, too small for its ambitions….
    but has put on good bulk this year, so may flower when it goes into its final spot over this winter….
    we will keep and sow the seeds of these….
    lovely colours come up from the crosses, as you have no doubt found.

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    • That is the fun of hollyhocks. We started ours off from seeds we gathered from plants we liked in the region and they have gone on from there. You never know what colour they will be. Amelia

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  4. They are gorgeous! They look so pretty along the fence next to your lane, and against walls too. I only have one that reappears faithfully every year at the moment. Hope it sets some seed this year too!

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    • They are supposed to be biennials but the ones that come up here in the spring will flower in the summer as long as they are in a sunny spot. Mine also will continue as perennials and come up in future years. I find they seed very easily. Amelia

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  5. Hi Amelia, I do like hollyhocks but the rust started to depress me too much though someone did tell me that there are resistant strains now. Your garden looks very inviting. Dave

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  6. I also like hollyhocks and yours look very beautiful but I gave up on them some years ago when, living in another part of the country, mine were badly affected by rust. I cant see that they are going to do very well in wet Devon.
    PS the rain is currently beating against the window. Philip

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