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.
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.
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.