In a Vase on Monday. Hollyhocks.

Actually, they are not proper Hollyhocks; the correct name is  xAlcalthea suffrutescens ‘Park Allee’. But that isn’t a very zingy title.  One of its parents is a Hollyhock, Alcea rosea and the other is  Marsh Mallow, Althaea officinalis. They were bred to be resistant to the dreaded hollyhock rust. They bloom in August and September when ordinary hollyhocks are long gone. They grow bigger and better every year and are easy from cuttings. I wrote about them last August. If I promised you cuttings last year and forgot, please remind me.

Today is a beautiful warm day and they will sit on the table outside so that we can enjoy them over dinner.


The colour of these flowers is difficult to describe. Beth Chatto calls it creamy apricot -pink, but actually, I think it is more café au lait, although the insides are pink. The stamens are purple and so I picked Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia ‘Hidcote Blue’ and violet- tinged Solanum laxum ‘Creche ar Pape’ to go with them.  A bumble bee hitched a lift on the Solanum and was far too busy to fly off even when I was arranging the flowers.

I also used Pennisetum alopecuroides  ‘Hameln’ to add a bit of silvery fluff.

To go with the coffee- coloured flowers I used my little brown jug which is made by Pearsons of Chesterfield.

Cathy who hosts the meme ‘In a Vase on Monday’ is thinking of the seasonal start of the new school year in her post today.  Because of the Chesterfield jug, my post also reminds me of being a small child and  dreading going back to school. My Grandmother always used to take me to Chesterfield to buy my new school shoes. Thank goodness that I never have to go near a school again, as a child, parent or a teacher. Growing older has its advantages.

Do look at Cathy’s post and see what flowers she and other people have found to put in a vase on Monday.

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38 Responses to In a Vase on Monday. Hollyhocks.

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Superb, Chloris! I really love this one!

  2. How splendid, never to go near a school outfitters again! Such a beautiful arrangement, an exciting range of cultivars of Pennisetum alopecuroides are coming to their late peak right now – how wonderful to see fully hardy Hameln showcased in place of regionally tender but similar P. villosum.

  3. gardenfancyblog says:

    What a lovely arrangement — the colors are subtle and beautiful, particularly in the simple jug. Thanks for sharing them with us to brighten up the start of the week! -Beth

  4. An especially pretty mix of colors and textures. I loved returning to school. It meant the end of canning tomatoes, making jams, pickling cucs and okra, and picking endless rows of butter beans on scorching hot summer days.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Marian. I hated school as a child, specially the year that I had a sociopath for a teacher. I was lucky and didn’ t get chores to do at home, my mother never pickled or canned anything in her life, so all summer long I could play with my friends.

  5. Had not heard of this flower crossed with Hollyhocks. I stopped growing them because of the rust issue but those are lovely and such a soft silky color. I liked school and tend to think of September as the start of the year rather than January because of that ingrained school schedule. I briefly taught school and will say it was the hardest job I ever had.

  6. Blue and white ! it’s a very good thing and your bouquet is beautiful! But my english is bad, sorry !

  7. Christina says:

    Lovely Liz; I’ve been meaning to tell you that my cutting is growing well and flowered and is still flowering – it remains in its pot as I think the summer would have been too much for it in the ground but now it is more established I’ll be planting it out soon; the flowers are lovely so thank you for giving me the cutting, I’ll think of you every time it flowers.

    • Chloris says:

      I am glad your Hollyhock is doing well Christina. It is fun to share plants and exchange seeds and cutting. And I will think of you whenever I look at the lovely Sedum you gave me.

  8. Cathy says:

    Yes, I rememeber your hollyhocks – definitely cafe au lait, I would say, and dithered about whether to accept your offer of cuttings. Don’t think I have got anywhere appropriate for them though…shame. They certainly make for a bountiful vase and Hameln/Hamelin (I have seen it both ways) is gorgeous. I have one but it is not ready to do its fluffy stuff yet! Thanks for sharing

    • Chloris says:

      A shame you can’ t fit in the lovely Park Allee. It blooms for ages. I wonder how easy Hameln is from seed. I will give it a try, you just can’ t have too much of this lovely grass.

  9. Chloris I love your arrangement, the colours work so well together. I think my son who has just returned to upper sixth form is feeling that he wishes he did not have to go back to school. Best years of our lives? err not always!

  10. I remember admiring this “hollyhock” when you posted photos of the flowers last year. It’s choice! I’ve never seen the plant here (not unusual in the case of many plants grown by UK gardeners) but I did just pick up that lovely Pennisetum.

    • Chloris says:

      I wish I could send you a bit Kris, but you aren’ t allowed to receive live plant material from abroad are you? But you lucky girl, you can grow that lovely Pennisetum’ Fireworks’ which I can’t keep going.

  11. snowbird says:

    Oh, you and me both re never having to go near a school again…..what if we get grandkids though???
    This is one of the most beautiful arrangements you have posted, my personal fave is the water lily…I loved this arrangement and the vase….smiling at the sight of yet another one, you must have a shed full!!!xxx

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Dina. I’ m not going near a school again under any circumstances. Would you like a cutting of Park Allee? Have you got room? By the way the seeds of Paeonia suffuticosa are ready. I will post them when I have a minute.

  12. I love blue and (almost) white together and my mother had a jug just like that, no idea what became of it. I can’t recall seeing “hollyhocks” like that and would love to see them in real life. The Lavendar is lovely and beats what can be grown in the South here by a long shot. I had the Hameln Pennisetum for a while, but it succumbed to the clay in my former garden.

    • Chloris says:

      This is a very special hollyhock, it looks more like a shrub after a few years. I should have thought that lavender would enjoy all your sunshine.
      I’ m looking forward to seeing the Hawaiin flower pics you promised us.

  13. Fabulous! It’s so soft and warm and welcoming! Nifty that a bumble bee hitched a ride as you were arranging. 🙂

  14. pbmgarden says:

    Just beautiful. Your Park Allee has the most perfect form and color and you chose great companions for it.

  15. Cathy says:

    Beautiful! Makes me think of a cafe latte infused with lavender. Yum! I didn’t realise Park Allee is not a true hollyhock, so I am glad you enlightened me. 🙂

  16. Sam says:

    I love everything about this, including the bee. Gorgeous.

  17. Annette says:

    There’s something very charming about this vase, the flowers shapes, the colours are so subtle. Cafe latte infused with lavender…well, think Cathy got it just right 🙂

  18. Peter/Outlaw says:

    You’ve beautifully shown the soft and dreamy side of late summer. I look forward to the day, now not so far away, when the words “back to school” no longer have the same effect on my mood.

  19. Chloris says:

    Thank you Peter. I know what you mean by those words’ Back to School’. Here you see it in all the shops in July just when the summer holidays are getting under way. So depressing if you are a teacher.

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