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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stockrosen - Hollyhocks

Stockrosen, Hollyhocks, or Alcea, whatever you call them, they are beautiful. Since I am now back in New York, I'll use the American name of Hollyhocks although I admit that I like the German name of stockrosen (translated as stick-roses).

One of the first individual flowers to catch my eye in Germany were these amazing clumps of Hollyhocks in front of many of the darling postcard cottages.

This top plant was photographed in a large botanical garden in Hanover, more about that garden will follow. Unfortunately, most of the times I saw these Hollyhocks were while we were in a moving car so I don't have photos of some of the most amazing clumps.

Luckily though, my aunt, Tante Inge has a fantastic garden in the tiny, rural village of Krukow (east of Hamburg). This was one of her Hollyhocks, growing against the back of the house.

A few feet further was this darker pink variety. Each plant in the garden was a slightly different shade but always in the pink family. I have to say, I've been totally sold on these beauties and can't wait to have some growing in my own garden!

Any tips from those of you who grow these from seed would be much appreciated.

12 comments:

Katarina i Kullavik said...

I love hollyhocks too! I've got a few growing in my garden and they are adorable!
/Katarina

Hoot Owl Hollow Nursery said...

I got a few plants from a friend years ago and they self seed readily. We now have them in varying shades of pale to dark pink. Their problems seems to be from flea beetles in early summer, to Japanese beetles now and may have problems with mildew or other similar things when the nights get hot and humid in August. Would you like some seed? I can send some when they get ripe.
Jane

Nichole said...

I've never had luck growing them from seed but I purchased one from Hick's a couple of years ago and it's been reseeding itself ever since!

Dave said...

Those hollyhocks look great! I managed to grow some from seed this year but they shouldn't flower until next year. I didn't do anything special with them just planted the seeds in peat pots and planted them outside when they were ready. They are in a part-sun area.

Welcome back!

Beth said...

Hi Melanie - do hollyhocks need staking? How do they stay so upright? I would fear they topple down from the wind we get. They sure are pretty! Anxious to see more photos from Deutschland ...

spookydragonfly said...

Love those Hollyhocks...Think I'll have to pick them up next year! I've had the zebra mallows ...isn't that in the same family? They didn't make it past the first season..but I loved them!

Hermes said...

Its much easier to buy them as small plants. Grown a lot here in the UK but not always wisely as their strong colours need careful handling. Glad to have you back.

Brenda Jean said...

Those are beautiful! I will confess that I am cursed when it comes to hollyhocks and can't figure out why. I've tried plants and seeds at two different homes and can't get them to grow. Sigh. They are SO pretty.

Gail said...

Hello, it's good to read you! The hollyhocks are wonderful flowers and the colors on your Tante's are lovely.
I haven't ever been able to get them established but I keep trying!

I like the German name, too!

Gail

Bev said...

Glad you had a good trip and hope your mother is doing well now.

Love the wonderful pics you took and hollyhocks are a fav of mine and I do not grow them. Have some seed my brother gave me so need to plant them out.

Bev J.

E. Sienknechts said...

liebe tante carla,
liebe melanie,

ihr freut euch sicher, wieder zu hause zu sein. ich oder wir haben uns sehr gefreut euch hier in deutschland gehabt zu haben.

liebe gruesse aus geesthacht und
umgebung an eure gesamte familie (auch michael)

edith

Kathi~Lavender, Lace and Thyme said...

Tante Inga...I am German and this is the first time I've seen Tante used other than "my" Tante, she is my aunt and I've called her Tante since I was about 5 years old :).

Welcome home Melanie! I look forward to reading every one of your posts! I love hollyhocks and have fond memories of them growing every where when I was growing up. They have so many now, even double ones which are amazing!

Have a wonderful evening!
Kathi :)