Hazel's Hollyhocks are blooming up a storm against the back fence. She gave me some seeds last summer when I was visiting.
My fondness for Hollys is a throwback from childhood. They grew wild in a back section of our yard, creating a flowering forest when we were little kids.
These days I love them because they're big enough to create a focal point on my long, narrow lot.
Without this pretty distraction, we find ourselves staring at the new neighbors and they at us. Since I'm at the bottom of a hill, I'd need an 18 foot fence to block the view. Hollies can do just that and nobody will complain.
It's hard to miss a Hollyhock when she's blooming. In flower, I see the tastes and personalities of the people who first planted them because I gather Hollyhock seeds from friends.
An easy re-seeder, they come back year after year, with riotous colors on sturdy stalks, towering 5-15 feet.
Tip: Rust is a common disease for Hollyhocks. Avoid it by cutting down and removing all leaves, seeds and stalks in the fall. (Rust disease overwinters in decaying debris.)