You sow zinnia seeds and you know exactly what you'll get. Ditto for sweet peas and cosmos and coreopsis. But hollyhocks from a neighbor? Unpredictable at best.
I planted the seeds and watched them grow for two years, hoping for a pleasant surprise. (Keeping my fingers crossed that one would be a clone of my long-gone favorite pink hollyhock.) Just this week they've started to bloom and I'm finding out what colors they are at long last.
First to bloom: a neon yellow/chartreuse.
Interesting color is the wrong place--it clashed with the apricot- and peach-colored roses in the same bed.
Result: a hard-hearted gardener removed it.
Then some wonderful colors appeared like a pink touched by orchid--a keeper.
and a berry red
right next to a peach hollyhock
which is an usual combination but really works (for me anyway).
Sadly the one hollyhock that was growing like a refugee from the rainforest turned out to be a color I call Dead Red
So, I'm still hoping for one nice sweet pink to make me smile, but I'm happy that most of the colors so far are playing nicely in the garden.