Biennials and How to Make Hollyhock Dolls

Black Hollyhock.png
Biennials are plants that complete their growing cycle in two growing
seasons. They are different than annuals and perennials in that in the
first year they grow only roots, leaves and stems. In the second year
they flower and form seed pods if pollinated, then the plants die.

If you grow biennials it is a good idea to plant seeds every year to
keep them growing in your garden. I learned that lesson this year when
I noticed that my black hollyhocks did not return. I’m bummed that I
waited so long to find seeds for my hollyhocks and even longer to see
them bloom and now they’re gone. I had hollyhocks growing that I
assumed where the black ones but when they flowered this year, the
blooms were red. Ugh!

My first instinct was to tear them out of the ground to prevent them from forming seeds and possibly self-seeding in the garden. It dawned on me that doing so would leave me a bare spot in the garden along the fence where more weeds would make themselves at home. The next best solution was to remove the flowers. When life gives your black garden red hollyhocks make hollyhock dolls.

How to make hollyhock flowers.png

Hollyhock dolls are one of those old fashioned toys that old people like to tell kids they had to play with when they were young. Apparently, before MySpace and Facebook girls would make all kinds of things from flowers in the garden.

If you’d like to make hollyhock dolls simply pluck three buds from your hollyhock. One for the dress, one for a torso and one for the head. I chose a bud that was opening for the head because this hollyhock doll is modeled after the Bride of Frankenstein. You’ll also need two toothpicks, one you’ll use to skewer the buds and one that you’ll break in half to create the arms.

How to make hollyhock flower dolls in the garden.png

I was outside when I did this and didn’t want to walk inside the house
for toothpicks, so I used some of these sticks that littered my garden
after the 4th of July. After you’ve made your hollyhock dolls you can place them around the garden or in containers for some temporary and biodegradable garden art to impress the kids in your life, who are under 2 years old and who have never seen a television or Pixar movie.

Other popular Biennial Plants:
California poppy
Queen Anne’s lace
Sweet William


Leave a comment
  • You're making me wish I had hollyhocks. I've never seen a hollyhock doll. What a fun idea!

  • In reply to ssgardengirl:

    You know, I wasn't that big of a fan of hollyhocks but I planted some sort of in memory of an old lady who lived in my neighborhood when I was a kid. She and her house were something like out of a novel or movie where the kids think the old lady on the block is a witch, or worse, because she's all alone in a big, dark, dilapidated house that all the pigeons roost on.

    I remember running past her house because I was afraid she'd cast a spell on me if she saw me and because she always had TONS of bees around her portion of the sidewalk because of the hollyhocks that were all over her garden. A number of years ago they tore down her house after she died and every once in a while I see some hollyhocks try to reestablish themselves in the now empty lot but then the city comes around and cuts all the vegetation down, but I saw one bloom that familiar old lady pink color.

    I planted my black hollyhocks as sort of a peace offering to the old lady for all the crap we put her through when we were dumb kids.

Leave a comment