I know some plants take years to bloom, so waiting just a few seasons for this old-fashioned hollyhock to show its colors seems like a short time in comparison. But it’s a big deal in my cottage garden.
I bought an envelope marked “hollyhock seeds” for 50 cents at the Xeriscape Conference in Albuquerque in early 2010. These seeds were packaged in a business-size envelope by a gardener in New Mexico and were on a table at the conference’s book sale.
I should have sowed those seeds in spring to give the leaves a head start on the heat of summer. But I got busy and the seeds had to wait until fall.
I’ve always thought hollyhocks make a cottage garden complete, so I planted the seeds along the white picket fence that separates my cottage garden from the butterfly garden.
Old-fashioned hollyhocks are the perfect plant for gardeners who like to go to seed.
When I was in Albuquerque for the annual Water Conservation and Xeriscape Conference in February, I bought several envelopes of hollyhock seeds at the book sale. A local gardener must have collected them from the garden, packaged them for sale, and donated the proceeds to the conference organizer, the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico.
I’d been wanting to add more hollyhocks to my cottage garden, especially the old-fashioned kind with large single flowers and, at 50 cents an envelope, the price was right for me.
I started the seeds in a planter as part of the patio container garden this summer with the idea of planting in fall so they’ll bloom next summer. Fall planting means these plants will have time to develop a strong root system before the ground freezes.