Thursday, 4 August 2011

Oh ye of little faith

I'm not referring to you, dear reader, but to myself...

I bought a plant from the market a couple of months ago that had no label on.  I recognised it as a hollyhock and the stall holder told me it would have black flowers.  I'm always dubious about claims of black flowers because they're usually very dark red or purple; the same with claims of blue roses that are actually lilac.  So imagine my joy when it blossomed into this!

It hasn't got double flowers but I'm really pleased with it.

I planted it in a bed that you may remember looked like this in April

and now it's like this with the hollyhock at the back (the pond is just the same though)

I sowed it with annuals but the only ones to survive were the sunflowers and zinnias.  In fact I sowed the zinnias twice and they didn't do anything so a sowed some more indoors of which I got 12.  The poppys were self seeded and  the marigolds I moved from another part of the garden where they had self seeded.  There is also the ubiquitous red orache!
Sod's law that some the orangey yellow zinnias ended up next to the marigolds so they don't show up.  Like here (marigold on top left)

and here (zinnia at the back of the group)
You can just see a couple of Ruby Chard plants behind with the red stems

Oh you know that shirt I altered for my husband?  He wore it today for the first time and didn't say anything about the pocket so he must think it's alright.  
I haven't mentioned that I put it on, because I don't want to draw his attention to it though.


  1. Your little garden looks lovely LBM. The black hollyhock looks stunning.

  2. That black hollyhock is amazing. I wonder what it's called...I'd love one in my garden.

  3. Beautiful hollyhock, I love it! I am also very dubious about plants from stalls, but it just goes to show, that sometimes at least you get just what you wanted! Your flower bed looks great, I am very envious of your lack of weeds! All the rain we are having here is making everything grow like crazy, especially the weeds!!

  4. You have a very pretty garden and a true black flower is incredible. Can you tell me what the plant with the grey green foliage and deep pink flower is in the third photo? It's really pretty.
    Good to hear hubby is wearing the shirt. :)
    Have a great day,
    Anne xx

  5. Oooh, I love Hollyhocks have a packet of seeds, I must do something with. I've never grown them before. Your black Hollyhock is stunning, imagine if it was a double frilly one........

    Your little garden bed is lovely, so full of colour and variety. Your Zinnias are gorgeous too. I'm hoping to grow some giant Sunflowers this Summer, will see how it goes. Might need another barrow load of manure I think........

    You must be pleased hubby's wearing the shirt..........

    Enjoy the weekend,

    Claire :}

  6. What a pretty bed! I had some black hollyhocks a couple of years ago, they're an amazing plant :o)

  7. That is one vibrant garden LBM. It's great to look back on the 'before' photos isn't it. Blogging helps with that factor I think.

    The shirt ... if he is anything like my hubby he could be playing the 'pretend you don't notice till she points it out' game.

  8. Lovely garden and a beautiful Hollyhock.
    I must get some seeds for my garden- I'll look out for the black, too!
    Have a great weekend.

  9. That is lovely.

    It is so unusual.

    Great garden!

  10. Such a special variety and colour your Hollyhock! Mine have got double flowers and are yellows!
    Have a lovely weekend!

  11. Oh I have faith, your flowers are beautiful! I love the hollyhock - they really are black!

  12. This summer I planted black hollyhocks in my garden. I love them! Your garden is looking beautiful. And I'm glad hubby didn't notice the shirt applique. :)

  13. I am so mad about hollyhocks, hope it self seeds and keeps returning,

    Sarah x

  14. My Hollyhocks just didn't bother to show this year LBM. Maybe the lack of rain earlier in the season.

    Your flowers look great and the bees will love 'em.

  15. I'm sure he's noticed and secretly loves it ;)

    I love hollyhocks and that black is just beautiful, so elegant. Have you noticed bees around it at all? I wonder if they would be attracted to black coloured flowers or if they even see in colour. Always used to colourful blooms so this is very different and gorgeous. Hmm.

  16. I really love the hollyhock - are you going to collect the seeds? I had lots of flowers this year, but the wind gave them a bit of a battering.

    Pomona x

  17. I adore that hollyhock, I've been after a spectacular black bloom for ages, I shall hunt one down if it kills me. x

  18. What a beautiful garden and such a striking black flower. It reminds me of a gothic fairytale. x