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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

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Creating a new plant – the story

Posted by Graham Rice on 24 Jun 2010 at 03:44 PM

Alcea 'Mars Magic',hollyhock,Spotlight Series,Jelitto. Image: ©Jelitto Seeds.Back in March, I wrote here about the impressive new Spotlight hollyhocks that had recently become available - like the ‘Mars Magic’ seen here on the road to its release.

Now, over on my Transatlantic Plantsman blog, I have the full story of the many years of work that went into their creation – starting with seeds sent to the international seed company Jelitto by a customer.

And it’s not just about hollyhocks – the story typifies the years, sometimes decades, of work that goes into creating the new varieties which add new colour and textures to our gardens.

Take a look at the story of the Spotlight hollyhocks.


EvaInNL said:

HI Graham, an update on the polarstar and blacknight I ordered after reading your article: they're growing away nicely now after the shock of being planted out in the big outdoors. Nice little clumps of leaves, a bit lighter in colour than I'm used to, but that could because they're first-years of course. Jelitto was incredibly quick: ordered them on the Monday and had them in the mail on the Friday! But take a day or 2 extra if you're not on the continent...

A question for you: there's a field where loads of hollyhocks grow, but unfortunately, every year just before they flower the Big Mower comes and chops their heads off. They then recover, and then the same thing happens again. Ghastly and cruel. Could I dig them up now and move them to a safer place? It's just such a shame, the ones that flower are a gorgeous bright fuchsia, bordering on red.

on 26 Jun 2010 at 07:58 AM