I have posted off and on about my hollyhock this summer. Hollyhocks are biennial…last year it grew to a standard size of 6 feet or so. This year it went beserk and just kept growing and growing. It was close to 12 feet the last time that I posted about it, and I had to bring the top portion inside the back porch lest it hit electrical wires running from under my roof to the pole.
Blooms start at the bottom and they die off and more blooms appear higher up, etc. Here’s what it looked like with just one or two blooms left.
My view when I step out onto the back porch in the morning :
I didn’t plant morning glories this year, but let my ‘volunteers’ from last year come up, and rather than train them on strings going up the porch, I let them twine around the tall grass, and then later on the holly hock as it continued to grow. It was a pretty sight to behold the last few weeks :)
Yet, while the morning glories would bloom until frost, I tore them up and downed the hollyhock on Sept. 8th, along with filling the garbage cans with older sunflowers, weeds, etc. The morning glory vines were downing too many of the tall grass stems, and the autumn sedum ( peeking out below in the photo above ) needs its time in the sun, to be fair to it.
Here she is…downed. My youngest son was over here the next morning and we measured her at 15.5 feet.
Why did she grow this tall? I do not know. I could have used some compost dirt when I planted her last year. It could have been companion planting with an heirloom tomato next to her. It could have been all of the rain that we had this summer. It could have been that when I rinsed out the coffee pot in the morning, and dumped it on her, ( the back porch is right off of the galley-kitchen ) that the remains of Folger’s Breakfast Blend got her caffeinated enough to grow double-time….who knows :)