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.