Alcea rosea

Many of us remember the gardens of grandparents having these tall, hearty and colourful plants. Hollyhocks come in many varieties as well as being annuals, bi-annuals or perennials. They love full sunand need a great deal of water.

The decision to start them from seed, in the ground, at the back door of the Barracks seemed an obvious choice and they have flourished there since 2018. The single bloom deep pink variety are annuals and have grown to 5 or 6 feet in that sheltered location. The plants have self seeded since the original introduction.

The local bunnies seem to enjoy the first tender shoots so we erect a wire fence to protect them from the hungry intruders. Hollyhocks do not appear to attract deer or elk.

Added coffee grounds to the rather scrubby soil seem to suit them. The tall stalks are hollow and need to be supported from the high winds. Growing them against a fence, wall or supported by chicken wire keeps them upright. Once in bloom staking could be helpful as the blooms are bountiful and long lasting.