Although I don’t have room for them, I absolutely love hollyhocks (Alcea rosea), and I’m sure you’ll agree that this particular one is a stunner! Introduced by Jelitto Perennial Seeds in 2010 as part of their ‘Spotlight’ series, ‘Mars Magic’ is a beautiful red single-flowered biennial that grows up to 180 cm tall, with a spread of 60 cm. I always have this romantic view of hollyhocks planted against old wooden fences or crumbling barns – I don’t know why – but they would be a perfect and dramatic fit in any garden design, formal or informal, as long as you have the space. And, according to my research about dye plants, the spent blooms of hollyhocks (except for the white ones) are excellent in the dyepot, producing colours in the red-purple range – yet another reason to grow them!
Do you have hollyhocks in your garden?