The Hollyhocks are out

Drive along a rural road and you'll see them tight against barns like icing on a cake.

When I think of easy, classic country flowers, hollyhocks are right up there with my favourites. On tall, sturdy legs, a riot of colourful blooms smile. Drive along a rural road and you’ll see them tight up against barns like icing on a cake.

We started our hollyhock patch about three years ago from a $1.99 seed pack and we¬†haven’t really done much to nurture these hard-working garden staples. Our soil isn’t particularly rich. We don’t water. Other than staking them if they get wobbly, that’s it.

I highly recommend trying these beauties. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The leaves take up a lot of space, so dedicate an entire area to your hollyhocks. I’m an inpatient gardener so in the spring when my hollyhocks were just little sprouts, I underplanted them with some lavender to add some texture to the garden – well, so long lavender, they were soon devoured by the hollyhocks’ vibrant leafy growth.
  • Plant in sunny spot so they get about 6 hours of sun a day.
  • Because of their height, it helps to plant them along a building or fence to give them protection and provide support.
  • I’ve read that hollyhocks are annuals, biennials or short-lived perennials. We’ve had really good luck with ours self-seeding. So just keep in mind, that every year or so, you may want to add another pack of seed to your hollyhock bed to keep the bounty coming.


Photos: Ben Loughton

Live beautifully,


1 Comment

  • Kardinal Fang says:

    Have a holly jolly hollyhock,
    It’s the best time of the year,
    I don’t know if there will be snow,
    But have a glass of beer.

    Have a holly, jolly hollyhock;
    And when you walk down the street
    Say Hello to friends you know
    and everyone you meet

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