This year, for the first time in a long time I have planted a few hollyhocks. Like foxgloves they are a biennial or short lived perennial. So while I normally tend to plant only perennials that I think will spread and have a long life, hollyhocks in my climate (planted from small nursery plants) will bloom this year, maybe next, and then fade away. However, hollyhocks self seed easily – and I will also – as with the foxgloves, let them form seedpods, and save them to replant next year.
Hollyhocks grow in a variety of colours and can be quite tall – as much as nine feet. Mine are dark pink and about 3.5 feet. I think they are a little lost where I have planted them, next to some forsythias and lilacs, with feverfew in front. I would like to see next year a few more colours, and a greater quantity of plants, to give a more old-fashioned country garden aesthetic. I will plant them next year about 2 feet apart – as I have put them half that distance apart this year, and they look a little crowded.