Hollyhocks planted in tree pits in our streets are looking glorious this year,
and they were inspired originally by Lindsey’s Hollyhocks in her front garden. Seeds were gathered and a few years on are looking great elsewhere in the neighbourhood.
Not all our tree pits are looking at their best this year though (some keen planters have moved away and the very cold start to the year did dampen gardening spirits!), so we’re planning a big push to get more planted up next spring. We’ll be sowing more Hollyhock seeds so we have plenty of small plants to give away, and we’re also thinking about other drought tolerant, tough plants such as Lavender,
Erigeron (above), Verbena bonariensis and Salvias. Any other suggestions gratefully received!
I’ve grown Chicory (Chicorium intybus) this year too,
and although the intense blue flowers are truly gorgeous, I think they’re a bit too floppy for this type of street planting, so I’ll transplant this elsewhere and make room for more Hollyhocks. According to Nicky’s seeds, this native perennial grows on waste land and field margins and is excellent food for tortoises (and sheep says Farmgirl Susan in comments below!). Always worth experimenting though to see what survives, and indeed thrives, in this tricky growing environment.
We don’t get a huge amount of vandalism, but I just popped out to take a pic of these lovely plants and was really disappointed to see the damage.
They were beautiful blooms (which I was hoping to collect seed from), but worth noting that Hollyhocks can be tempting candidates for a bit of snapping and it’s also a good idea to mix up the planting to have blooms throughout the seasons. Shame to see though!
And whilst the perennials are growing, we’ll be giving away annual wildflower seeds,
which will always help to beautify our streets. Above is Pictorial Meadow’s ‘Candy’ mix, which has two waves of flowering for double the interest and supplying colour in our neighbourhood well into the summer months.