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Black Beauties

June 13th, 2012

This lovely plant was started from seed in 2010. Hollyhocks are one of those delayed gratification plants since they take two years to bloom. They can also be difficult to start from seed at times, they germinate better if you use the floating method described in this post.

‘The Watchman’ hollyhocks were described on the seed packet as “towers of black satin” and that’s not far from the truth. The deep purple color really adds a sense of elegance to the garden.

Not only do hollyhocks add some much needed height to the garden, the black color is unusual and eye catching. It blends well with every other color, but is especially set off against white and light pink. Beside my ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea it’s stunning, a perfect combination!

This variety of hollyhock is an heirloom, Thomas Jefferson grew these in his gardens at Monticello. I will most likely always have some blooming in my garden for the rest of my life. They’re one of my favorite plants!

Do you have any dark blooming plants in the garden?

If you’d like to purchase seeds for ‘The Watchman’ they are available from:
Renee’s Garden
Botanical Interests
Baker Creek

14 Comments to “Black Beauties”
  1. daisy on June 13, 2012 at 7:18 am

    I’ve never seen such a dark-colored bloom. Lovely, it does look like velvet! The darkest thing I grow is morning glories, which are deep purple, but almost look black. Nothing as majestic as these hollyhocks though.

    Reply to daisy's comment

  2. Songbirdtiff on June 13, 2012 at 8:06 am

    These are beautiful! Where did you get them?

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

    • Susy on June 13, 2012 at 8:19 am

      My seeds were from Botanical Interests.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Misti on June 13, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Love those! I will have to buy some seeds to start for our new house!

    Reply to Misti's comment

  4. kat on June 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

    we’ve got the very same hollyhocks and ours have also just bloomed this week! they’ve always looked like velvet to me – i just love them!

    Reply to kat's comment

  5. Becky on June 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I also have some this color and they are beautiful! Unfortunately most of my hollyhocks have rust and don’t always make it to the point of blooming. It comes back year after year and I can’t find a way to get rid of it. Any suggestions of a natural method to help get rid of the rust?

    Reply to Becky's comment

    • Susy on June 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      Perhaps you should try some fig-leaved hollyhocks from Baker Creek, they’re not supposed to be bothered by rust.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Becky on June 13, 2012 at 6:55 pm

        I’ll look into those, thank you for the suggestion! I love hollyhocks and it would be great to find a way to have some without all the rust issues.

        to Becky's comment

  6. susan on June 13, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Love them! As a NYC gal, black is always the right color choice, lol.
    Our local garden place actually has them, and I was very tempted last week-but we are moving in the fall, so I will leave them for our new garden once we get settled.

    I am excited for my hyacinth bean that’s finally coming up-we live in the PNW, and summer is short(!). The bean should cover most of the arbor hubby built us last fall. Hopefully by the end of July it will look great!

    Reply to susan's comment

  7. Maybelline on June 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Dark puple petunias if the caterpillars will let them bloom. I bet the bumble bees are in heaven with those hollyhocks.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  8. Jennifer on June 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Stunning….Love the contrast in the garden! My garden just might need a few ;-)

    Reply to Jennifer's comment

  9. Andrea Duke on June 16, 2012 at 6:26 am

    I have a hollyhock that I started from seed 3 years ago that I love. I don’t know the name, but it’s a pale yellow. It is almost ready to bloom. I have loved The Watchmen for years and will have to remember to get some seeds for it. Hollyhocks are one of my favorites.

    Reply to Andrea Duke's comment

  10. KimH on June 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    That is one beautiful plant.. I’ll have to look into getting some sometime or another.
    I have a black hellebore that is gorgeous in the late spring snow.. I also have a couple trillium that are close to black.. they’re difficult to see unless you’re really looking for them..

    Reply to KimH's comment

  11. Helena Brtnická on June 18, 2012 at 9:03 am

    I love this plant, the colour and velvetness of its flowers! I definitely want it to grow in my garden once!

    Reply to Helena Brtnická's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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