Hollyhocks-Got to Have Them

WELCOME to the 2014 #AtoZ Blog Challenge

Inspired By My Pinterest Boards:  This Year’s Category is GARDENING


A typical Cottage Garden Plant

Alcea, commonly known as hollyhocks, is a genus of about 60 species of flowering plants in the mallow family Malvaceae. That’s the scientific information in case your are one of those kind of people. For me, passionate about cottage gardening, hollyhocks are like a gateway plant into the garden of my dreams. Hollyhocks will remind you of your grandmother’s garden, white picket fences, American flags hanging on front porch and sitting on the stoop eating a slice of watermelon.  a68136e12421831f0cc4b6020b2524a3Hollyhocks grow easily from seed. At the end of the season I cut stalks down and lay them on the ground to let the seed heads split open and self seed. They come in colors you can’t resist and deserve a spot at the back of your border, along a fence, beside the garage. See my board, English Cottage Gardening for more.


About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
This entry was posted in AtoZ Blog Challenge -April 2014 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Hollyhocks-Got to Have Them

  1. Rosie Amber says:

    These are beautiful I love them, I have a red one like yours and some lovely yellow and delicate orange ones too.

  2. Harliqueen says:

    My hollyhock seeds are sprouting already, first year I will be growing them!

    Great post 🙂

  3. cfjeanjean says:

    Beautiful flowers, I love the top photo, the petals look so delicate, like chiffon. And I love the name, Hollyhock. I know very little about flowers actually, living in Hong Kong I have no outdoor space, but I’m looking forward to finding out more about them for the day that I am finally able to try my hand at gardening.

  4. Beautiful photos you chose to display these flowers. I don’t have garden space, but I definitely want these in my garden when I do!
    Happy A-Z!

    • Be sure and think about Pinterest so you will have a place to pin plants you someday want to buy. I called my board ‘Plant Shopping List’ and it beats losing little slips of paper. Come back if you have time for more gardening and related topics.

  5. Christine says:

    Stepheny – I love hollyhocks. My grandmother used to call them “shithouse flowers” (a bit vulgar, I know). She grew up on a farm in Nebraska back when indoor plumbing was a luxury that many farms lacked, and her mother (my great grandmother) always grew hollyhocks next to the outhouse.

  6. Hollyhocks are beautiful! I’m planning on planting a few in my flower garden this year, if spring ever gets here. 🙂

    • Spring has finally arrived here in North Carolina, a bit timid, often running for cover when the temps drop, but new green leaves all along the roadside now, trees flowering, my bulbs are up. Ahhhhhh -at last. If your freeze date has pasted, get going!

  7. Arlee Bird says:

    The hollyhocks in the photos are beautiful. I don’t know much about flowers,but I guess I’ve seen these growing in yards.

  8. Oh, yeah, they certainly come in colors one cannot resist. So beautiful and joyful. Love flowers for that very reason — they bring joy with their beauty. 60 species … wow!
    Silvia @

    • It’s spring finally in North Carolina and while wedding this afternoon I checked and my hollyhocks are up and looking great. Can’t wait to see the results. Come back if you have time.

  9. djts says:

    Beautiful hollyhocks. I may try growing some up at our cottage. I want to put in some lupines, lilacs and hydrangea, too.
    Thanks for stopping by today.
    Donna Smith
    The A-to-Z Challenge
    Mainely Write

    • If you don’t arrive at your cottage until early summer better take some plants with you from the nursery and get them into the group ASAP in order to enjoy them while you are there. Come back if you can.

  10. Robyn LaRue says:

    Hollyhocks! My grandmother grew Hollyhocks and had huge lilac bushes…still my favorite part of spring time. 🙂

    • When I had my first garden in North Carolina I grew lilac bushes I had gown up with in Evanston, IL. They burned up in the hot Carolina summers. I learned I had to grow a ‘Miss Kim’ that could take the heat. Imagine my surprise. Come back when you can.

  11. Hollyhocks are one of my mom’s favorite flowers. I love that they come in so many colors.

  12. wordstock16 says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and letting me know that Goggle isn’t working again. My blog is http://yeakleyjones.blogspot.com/

    Now on to a nicer topic. I love hollyhocks! Of all the plants I had in my English garden, the hollyhocks were my favorite, especially when I discovered that the monarch butterflies loved them on their way to Mexico. It was fabulous.

  13. Those are beautiful! I did Flowers for “F” in the A to Z Challenge. I had a cosmos almost ready to bloom and I went out this morning to check it and it was gone! Replaced by a gopher hole. 😦

    • It isn’t funny McGee when these things happen…like deer lopping off the heads of tulips. If you are using pine straw to mulch I’d rethink it. Voles love it and maybe gophers do too. Come back when you can for more garden ‘stuff.’

  14. When I think of Hollyhocks, I think of my mother’s youth. She was an orphan but during her teenage years she settled in with a nice foster family that became my grandparents. My grandfather grew fields of Hollyhocks and my mother and her sisters sold them. To me they will always be an old fashioned flower because of this memory (from the 1930’s-40’s).

    Donna B. McNicol
    A to Z Participant

  15. Kristen says:

    They are so pretty and delicate! I love those frilly edges. 🙂

    Random Musings from the KristenHead — H is for Hearts and Handmade

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