Hollyhock, Hollyhock, Oh Holly, Holly, Holly...

July 27, 2008

Anybody remember the song Lollipop from 1958? Every time I think of hollyhocks, the chorus of the old song goes through my mind, only using the word hollyhock instead of lollipop. Weird, huh? (This is not to be confused with the more or less current song(?) Lollipop by Lil Wayne. Boy did I get a surprise when I read THOSE lyrics. Yow!)

In the what-a-difference-three-years-can-make department, I present exhibit 1, a picture I posted in 2005 of my one blooming hollyhock plant.

Here a couple I just took a few minutes ago.



Quite a difference, eh? I know a lot of you get rust on your hollies, and it looks like I have some too. In fact ... ooh, jeeze, I just got a charlie horse in my leg. Hold on. ... OK, better now. Too much squatting in the garden today, I guess. Anyway, about the rust... Some of my plants have lost leaves near the bottom, but it doesn't usually get too much worse than that. Lucky for me.

Just thought you might like to see them. Hope you did.


Comments (50)

  • blondiesc

    I have a bad case of "holly envy." Oh well, there is always next year. Thanks for sharing yours.

  • alisande

    Oh, wowÂthey're wonderful!! And now, every time I see hollyhocks I'll start humming that song.

    Obviously, you don't have deer in your neck of the woods.

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  • Vikki1747

    T-man you crack me up!! Yes indeed I remember Lollipop, Lollipop, oh lolly, lolly, pop. One of my favorite "bubble gum" songs.

    Your Hollyhocks are so lovely. I say every year that I'm going to grow red hollyhocks. Your pictures have rekindled the fire and I am going to get some seeds for sure!!

  • catankgirl

    Oh my, thank you so much for sharing. They are gorgeous. I just started hollyhocks for the first time this year and now I can't wait to see them return each year! Yeah!

  • Annie

    Cool tune choice. Great idea.
    Hope you don't mind my trying my hand at lyrics. It's fun!:
    Hollyhocks, hollyhocks, oh, lovely, lovely, lovely,
    Hollyhocks, hollyhocks, oh, lovely, lovely, lovely,
    Hollyhocks, hollyhocks, oh, lovely, lovely, are Hollyhocks! (Bloom-bloom-bloom-bloom)
    ~~~ * ~~~~
    ThinMan's growing hollyhocks,
    Tell ya why,
    Those flowers grow right up to the sky.
    Wanna to grow some hollyhocks
    'Cause his look great;
    Next year - we can hardly wait!

    We're growing....
    Hollyhocks, hollyhocks, oh, lovely, lovely, lovely,
    Hollyhocks, hollyhocks, oh, lovely, lovely, lovely,
    Hollyhocks, hollyhocks, oh, lovely, lovely are Hollyhocks! (They bloom-bloom-bloom-bloom)

    ~~~ * ~~~~
    Pretty little flowers on a stick,
    Crimson, yellow, orange or wi-ine,
    If I had a choice which one to pick,
    Well, the my-yi-yi-yine.

    Hollyhocks, hollyhocks, oh, lovely, lovely, lovely,
    Hollyhocks, hollyhocks, oh, lovely, lovely, lovely,
    Hollyhocks, hollyhocks, oh, lovely, lovely,
    Your Hollyhocks!!
    They really are lovely, ThinMan.

    ~ sweetannie4u

  • gldno1

    They are beautiful, especially the red one.

    Mine get so sorry looking about this time of year, I chop them to the ground.

  • FlowerLady6

    Oh my gosh, now that little ditty will be going through my head today. : -)

    Lovely hollies TMan. You and your DW have wonderful, gorgeous, cottage gardens to enjoy.


  • thinman

    SweetAnnie - How cool! You really know the song, and your new lyrics are outstandingly great. You have talent, girl! Now I can sing more than just the chorus when I think of hollyhocks. In fact I'm going to sing it right now.

    Hollyhocks, hollyhocks, oh, lovely, lovely, lovely, ...


  • proudgm_03

    Beautiful hollyhocks. I especially like the red ones.

  • todancewithwolves

    I'm speechless. Beautiful, just beautiful.


  • aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

    Gorgeous, I especially like the nice clear pink one, got some started thanks to Martha, can hardly wait till next year. The whole setting you've created for them is charming. Can we see more please.... Hollyhock, Hollyhock ohhhhh Holly.... now you've got me singing it too. Great lyrics Annie.


  • lorna-organic

    Neil Diamond's "Holly, holy..." comes to mind. Yes, I remember the song "Lollipop", originally done in the late 50s by the Chordettes. I used to sing what I could remember of it to my Labrador, one of whose nicknames was Lollie.

    Dang, I'm jealous as all get out over your big hollyhock display, TM. I'm pouting.

    A few years ago I grew a traditional yellow next to a ruffled yellow. The following year I planted seeds from those plants, which turned out to be hybrids. The flowers were traditional looking except they had a single ruffle in the center. I still have some seeds, just found them the other day. They're old, but possibly still viable.


  • gottagarden

    Yours are just gorgeous!!

    Mine have rust, Japanese beetles and weevils, I'm about to give up. Do you have any secrets?

  • lvtgrdn

    Hey Thinman, I read this earlier, but didn't get a chance to respond. At one point, "Lolly Pop" was going through my head and out of my mouth, and then I remembered why. LOL

    My hollyhocks are about finished in the back. I planted some new ones in the front, and they have rust, but I'm hoping they still bloom. Yours are lovely!

  • jlsch

    Ok, now I'm in trouble - that tune will be stuck in my head for who knows how long. The other day after seeing Mama Mia I had the same problem. Grrr! Your hollyhocks look great! Mine have lace leaves from earwigs and JB getting do you keep yours so healthy? wig

  • merianna

    Wow! Did they self-seed to this point since 2005? There was a lady here that used to grow them and they got 7-8ft tall. Thank you for sharing your pics.


  • DYH

    I knew it was Lollipop when I read your subject! You're so clever! LOL

    Your hollyhocks are gorgeous!

    Sweetannie -- great lyrics, too! :-)


  • PattiOH

    Hollycow, what a sight! That's a great looking bunch of hollyhocks, TMan.

    Fun lyrics, Sweetannie!


  • thinman

    Thanks to all you dear cottagers who commented so nicely on my little patch of hollyhocks . If my small effort can get just one person to plant their own little hollies, then it will have been worth all the sweat, compost, and vole-induced-rage, and we will have struck a blow for truth, justice, AND THE HOLLYHOCK WAY! Sorry, I got a little carried away there for a minute.

    From Alisande Obviously, you don't have deer in your neck of the woods. Well, yeah I do, actually, but they seem to happy enough eating my sweet corn, green beans, and a few rudbeckia.

    From Gottagarden Do you have any secrets? Yes, but I'll need to wait for the statute of limitations to kick in before I can share. But you probably meant the hollyhocks. No secrets, just good luck and climate, I guess.

    From wig how do you keep yours so healthy? See above, please.

    From Mary Did they self-seed to this point since 2005? No, I'm pretty sure that I started the other colors from seed in 2006.

    I'm glad I could get the Lollipop song stuck in some of your heads the way it is stuck in mine. That IS the real meaning of LOL, you know.


  • angelcub

    Gorgeous!!! So glad they are doing well for you. Nothing says cottage like hollyhocks except maybe roses. I LOVE that pink color!!! They look fantastic against your white siding.

    I think I remember my dad (hahaha) listening to that song. jk

    Now I have to go sneak one of my granddaughter's lollipops. ; )


  • keesha2006

    so pretty, makes me want mine to be just so pretty soon too. I also just planted mine this blooms yet, your pic reminds me I need patience and why!

  • remontant

    I usually have batches of single hollyhocks going so I was glad to see more hollyhock love. ;-) Does anyone know whether the seeds are true to color from each "mother" plant? I have a mixture of white, pink, and rose-red but no yellows.

  • thinman

    Does anyone know whether the seeds are true to color from each "mother" plant?

    I'd like to know the answer to this, too. A couple of years ago, to get ready for the Great Annual Cottage Garden Seed Exchange, I put a label on each color hollyhock. That fall when the seeds were ready, but the blooms were gone, I carefully collected and labeled seeds from each color. A short time later I became convinced that I had been silly, and the seeds were all going to be mixed colors, no matter what plant they had come from. I still don't know for sure that I was right, but I think I was.


  • lvtgrdn

    Hey, Thinman, my eyes must have landed on your thread, because as I was typing a reply to someone else, I found myself singing you know what. LOL

    On the occasion I've remembered to save seed, I don't think it got planted. However, I used to have very dark either red or black hollyhocks in the back, and either pink or yellow in the side yard bed. I now have from white with yellow in the center to various shades of yellow in the place where the dark ones were. I don't think the seeds are true to the color from the mother plant. I don't know if they would be if that's all you had or not.


  • lorna-organic

    My seeds from yellow all came up yellow. A friend sent me seeds from her pink hollyhock, and the hollyhocks which I grew from her seeds were pink.


  • remontant

    Thanks, Lorna! I've ordered some single yellow hh seeds from Swallowtail to help balance my color mix. :-)

  • cziga

    I've been wondering if Hollyhocks came true to colour as well -- I have been looking for yellow and brown hollyhocks for a couple years now. Haven't found any true browns but I traded for yellow seeds last year and got pink :) Not sure if it was because they didn't come true to colour, or that the person I traded with got the seeds mixed up with another colour.

    Yellow with a little ruffle sounds quite fancy and nice!

  • lavendrfem

    hehe! - thanks I needed that.

    Thinman- LOVE the pics! Beautiful!


  • oneeagleone

    Oh my gosh!!! I now have this ditty going through my head!!!

    Please stop!!!

    Why did I read this post?

    > "Does anyone know whether the seeds are true to color from each "mother" plant?"

    From what I have read, the only way that one can reasonably be assured that the seeds will be "true to the color" of the mother plant is to insure that no other variety of hollyhocks are growing within 1/4 mile of your hollyhocks!!! That should minimize cross pollination. If you live on a 160 acre farm, that should work. Good luck!!!

  • thinman

    Sonofagun! I had to see who had replied to my post after all these months, so of course I now have Lollipop running through my head as well. It IS a very catchy tune, though, and I'm sure I could do a lot worse.

    Cranial lyricosis. Remember?


  • memo3

    OneEagleOne, THANK YOU, for bringing this post to the top again. I missed this last summer when I was on hiatus.

    TM, I can not believe how beautifully this corner garden of yours has filled out over the past few years since you planted it. Your Hollyhocks are to die for!

    I really wish I had written down the name of the person who posted this recipe here on the forum a few years ago, so I could give credit where credit is due. Please forgive me, whoever you are. Perhaps this will help some of you who have problems with rust. I never needed it, yeah! but I don't have any hollyhocks at moment either, so I can't really say how well it works from personal experience.


    Healthy Hollyhock Spray

    1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
    1 Tbl. Canola Oil
    1/2 tsp. Ivory dish soap
    1/2 Cup White Vinegar
    1 gal. Water

  • gottagarden

    I planted seeds from a red hh, 5 out of 7 came out red, 2 came out white. So I guess they do not come true from seed.

    Now everytime I see HHs, I start singing the lollipop song. you've really started something there tinman!

  • thinman

    Now everytime I see HHs, I start singing the lollipop song. you've really started something there tinman!

    Good! There's no reason I should be the only one cranially afflicted with this silly but fun little tune. In fact, let's form a group, and all you got to do to join is sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar.


  • casi

    Looks like there are a few Holly Hock experts out there. I'm new to Hollyhocks also. Mine are second year plants and there were gorgeous earlier this Spring/Summer. Now I know why a lot of folks don't like they are all spent and ugly, probably due to no water. My DH is the "Utility Policeman" and won't let me water! I believe last summer I read not to cut them down. What do you do when they are so awful looking. They will seed and spread, right? I'm thinking of moving them to a site closer to the well water. When should I do that and is it a good idea?

  • treelover

    Beautiful flowers!

    I've got some hollyhock seedlings started. I will go out and sing that song to them tonight. Maybe they'll grow up to look like yours. Haha!

  • abrodie

    Hi Thinman, it's been so long since I contributed that I had to rediscover my username. All to say that never, never, never did I expect to see L'il Wayne and Lollipop referenced in the Cottage Garden forum of Gardenweb. This is the best laugh I've had for ages, you are hilarious. Apparently that's what Michael Phelps listens to before races. Whatever works ...

    I am having my first hollyhock success this summer. A friend gave me 2 plants of the "black" version. She and her family live upstairs from her aging parents and she tries to keep her father out of trouble by giving him gardening chores. I have been the grateful beneficiary of lots of stuff this year. Anyway, the squirrels have left them alone so they are blooming. I can see them better since I thwacked back the spent raspberry canes.


  • phonegirl

    What a post this is and it made me laugh and sing while reading. You are all so fun and I thank you for entertaining me. LOL I haven't grown any for a couple of years but don't know why they didn't reseed back. Punk

  • thinman

    Wow, some of you are digging into the older posts. I was surprised to see that this post had popped up into the current list again.
    Maybe it will become a classic. :-)

    I'm glad that some chuckles, guffaws, and grins are still being had over this. I knew it was going to be a long shot, but so far no one has picked up on the Arlo Guthrie reference in my March 17 post. I know some of you are old timers like me so I thought I'd throw it in and see what happened. It looks like the answer is 'not much.' :-)


  • Debby Kuennen

    Thinman, you are a stinker! How many innocent people now have that song imprinted on their few remaining brain cells?! Love Annie's lyrics too. But, most of all, love your hollyhocks! I have serious HH envy. I have tried and tried for several years to get some going, but rust has won out each time. I've got wintersown plants scattered around in several different areas hoping to find a relatively rust free zone. When I remember the HHs at my grandmothers which would return year after year with no problems I keep thinking that surely one day I will hit the right combination!! Thanks for the photos, but no thanks for the song imprint!!


  • janroze

    Hi man, I'm so jealous, I try and try and try, but just not enough sun. Lucky you. I love at least getting to see them.
    gramma jan

  • floweryearth

    Wow that was a fun thread! Thanks thinman! Lovely hollyhocks. This year I had bought a pack of burpee's Fordhook Giants, and now after having read this, whenever I see any progress in their growth, I'll be singing the funny song in my mind. :)

  • schoolhouse_gw

    There was finally a bit of snow melt over the past few days and sure enough there were my hollyhock plants hugging the ground, green as can be! Now today it's really snowing again, so "Sleep tight my beauties".

  • sunrisedigger

    I'll just add my wow comment as well of those glorious Hollys.
    Now I've just seeded the Nigra and this is many years since I lost interest in them and they're going along the south border at the back to be companions with Hibiscus and Tiger Lily The garden could use some black drama

  • gran5

    I love Hollies....Remember the song too....

  • thinman

    It's been a while since I visited the gallery and I had to laugh to see that this post has popped up again. I guess I know what I'll be singing this afternoon.


  • memo3

    LOL, TM! I just ran across this and as you can see it's now 2013!! Still a great photo and now I'll be singing the song all morning while watching the snow come down outside ;)

    I think we will need an update of this come spring!

  • thinman

    Hi, MeMo. It's so nice to hear from you. This is the first time I've visited this gallery in a few months, and what a surprise it was to see this post right on top and your recent post added to it. I'm always interested to see what hollyhocks I have each year, as they are never the same twice. If they are good, I'll throw another picture up on this thread.

    Meanwhile, Hollyhock, Hollyhock, Oh Holly, Holly, Holly ...

  • thinman

    Things are pretty slow here, so, what the heck, here's another hollyhock pic, this one from last summer.


    Seriously pining for spring up in the still snow-covered north.


  • aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

    Another pretty, mine seem to have died out. Seeing your beauties again makes me want to give them another go. Things are starting to pop around here, have some mini daffodils, spring snowflakes, hellebore, violets and pulmonaria blooming. The crocus and snowdrops are finished. Magnolia buds are starting to show color so I guess spring really has arrived.


  • thinman

    Lucky you, Annette, to get actual spring when the calendar says spring. I love most things about living here in northern lower Michigan, but March isn't one of them.


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