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Photos of Red Hollyhocks and Simple Photoshop Tips

Updated on September 11, 2015
Gloriousconfusion profile image

I love gardening, garden design, learning gardening techniques and photographing plants. I was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society.

There's something special about tall spikes of deep red hollyhocks

The botanical name for Hollyhocks is Alcea

I always wanted to grow hollyhocks in my garden, but for years I was unsuccessful, even though they are said to be easy to grow.

However, a couple of years ago, I re-designed my garden, put in some new topsoil, and planted a few hollyhock seeds, and hey-presto, up popped some little hollyhocks.

The colors were spectacular and of course I had to take photographs of my hollyhocks for posterity

And taking photographs means playing around a bit on Photoshop, so have a look, and see which style you like best.

Dark Red Hollyhocks

dark red hollyhocks
dark red hollyhocks

Dark Red Hollyhocks

A rich dark red

My hollyhocks weren't very exciting the first year, but they became established, and put on a splendid show the following year, and again this year.

Hollyhocks have big round leaves which are quite ornamental in spring, and the flowers develop in summer and autumn. They grow up to about 6 ft high, but some of them are much shorter - about 2-3 ft high.

Bright Red Hollyhocks

Bright Red Hollyhocks
Bright Red Hollyhocks

Here are Some Bright Red Hollyhocks

Well, I call them red, but you might call them bright pink hollyhocks

This is my favorite picture of hollyhocks.

But, can you see, the leaves look much paler on the left of the picture? That is because they have been attacked by rust. Unfortunately, hollyhocks do tend to be prone to rust.

As rust tends to spread, it's best to burn the leaves and not use them for compost, in order to make sure that the rust spores are not recycled in your garden, only to infect future generations.

Further down this page, you will see various changes I have made to this hollyhock photo, using my Photoshop Elements 10 Programme, which I was given for Christmas.

This is a Photoshopped version of the same Hollyhock picture

Red Hollyhock pattern
Red Hollyhock pattern

This is a Photoshopped version of the same Hollyhock picture

I used the "liquify" tool to get this effect and turn it into a hollyhock pattern

Curvy Hollyhock Pattern:

First I went to the programme labelled "distort" and then "liquify".

I then elongated and curved the petals and leaves to make them into a swirly but still mildly realistic pattern.

William Morris, here I come!!

(William Morris is a family hero really - we all love his floral designs, which you still see everywhere, on upholstery, wallpaper and as framed prints. My grandson was even named after him, though the family call him Billy.)

When the weather is dry, you need to water your tender plants - Especially the garden plants which don't have deep roots

If you are watering a large area, a garden hose is essential, to my mind.

In the UK we occasionally have a summer hose ban. I've tried watering the garden with a watering can, and if it is just a question of watering a few potted plants, that works fine, but it's very tedious to water the whole garden without a hosepipe, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it, unless you have the strength of an ox, and a high threshold of boredom with repetitive jobs.

If you have a garden hose, it's important to have a wind-up hose reel as well, otherwise your hosepipe will just lie in a messy heap, and become an eye-sore.

Liberty Garden Products 704 Decorative Cast Aluminum Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel, Holds 125-Feet of 5/8-Inch Hose - Bronze
Liberty Garden Products 704 Decorative Cast Aluminum Wall Mount Garden Hose Reel, Holds 125-Feet of 5/8-Inch Hose - Bronze

I love this elegant wall-mounted hose reel - it is very ornamental, and would be an unusual and decorative feature in any garden. And I love the little shelf above, to hold your watering tools and bits and pieces.

The hose reel holds a hose length of 125 ft. You would need to buy the hose, nozzle and wall fixings as well, all available to match.


Red Hollyhocks customized

Red Hollyhocks customized

Another quite different version of the same hollyhock picture

I did this using Photoshop - to make the hollyhocks stand out in relief - first I went to "show all", and then pointed on "custom" and applied it.

This made the flowers and leaves stand out, so that you feel you could physically run your hand over them and feel the different levels - very effective, I thought.

Red Hollyhocks Water Colour

Red Hollyhocks water colour
Red Hollyhocks water colour

Red Hollyhocks Water Colour

Yet another Photoshopped version of the same hollyhock photograph

This time I used the Photoshop programme called "watercolour" to stylize the hollyhocks.

I thought it was interesting, but that this effect might actually look better on some other photograph.

Do comment in my Guestbook at the foot of this page about what you thought of it

Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 [OLD VERSION]
Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 [OLD VERSION]

This is the newer version and at present it is 1/3 off, and cheaper than the older version, whilst doing the same sort of things


The Photoshop Programme I use is Photoshop Elements 10 but there is now an 11 - Some of the Photoshop programmes are very expensive, but this particular one is

You can use the Photoshop programme to edit or resize your photos, add or remove parts of a picture, draw on a picture, add text, re-color it, and change the lighting, shadows, and intensity of colors.

The more expensive programmes listed below are for more advanced users, maybe art and photography students, artists and professionals.

As well as doing a professional job, Photoshop is very entertaining to use - I'm afraid I spend hours on it just fiddling around. There are masses of videos on the internet giving instruction about how to use the various tools, because it is so popular.

Take The Poll Below About Photography

Photography isn't for everyone, and you can use other people's pictures, subject to copyright requirements. But do you prefer to use your own photos, or are you content to search around and use pictures from Wikipedia or other copyright-free sources? Or maybe you are happy to contact the owner of the copyright and get their permission, with or without payment?

I hope you don't just nick their pictures - you do realize, don't you, that there is a program called Tin Eye, which checks a photograph to see how many other copies of it there are out there on the internet, complete with the website address where it can be found - so the owner of the copyright can catch up with you, even if the photo has been edited and altered.........Big Brother gets everywhere with his beady eyes!

Do you like to use your own photographs when you make a web page?

See results

Red Hollyhocks - Did you Enjoy This?

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    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @gottaloveit2: They are worth a try - watching them grow really tall and develop until they bloom in June gives an element of suspense, especially as some flower when quite short in June, and some wait till they are 6ft. tall and bloom in July!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @GrammieOlivia: Yes, it's so sad when you see rust spreading. I have discovered you can buy a garden chemical that stops rust, so I this year I pulled off the worst-affected leaves, and then sprayed the plants. Not sure yet how efficient the spray is, but I suppose it works.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 3 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      I "love" how you took one photo and showed what changes are possible using your selected version of Photoshop. I also liked your discussion of the various Photoshop versions. Cercis

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 3 years ago

      I'm not familiar with Hollyhocks but they sure are vibrant. Love your pics.

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

      I love Hollyhocks, but the last few years mine have been so covered in rust that I didn't enjoy the look of them anymore, so out they went!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @sharonbellis: Yes they are. I particularly like the dark red single flowers.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @BLouw: I collect the hollyhock seeds, put them in tiny wage packet-sized envelopes, and give them away at school fairs and craft fairs - people are so delighted to get something for nothing, and I'm just happy to spread a little happiness and the prospect of beautiful flowers in people's gardens

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 3 years ago from France

      I love hollyhocks - they self-seed, grow themselves and look lovely for ages. I have to support mine so a bit of tying up is all the care and attention they need. Yours look spectacular too.

    • sharonbellis profile image

      Sharon Bellissimo 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Lovely photos. Hollyhocks are a very pretty plant.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      You must have a beautiful garden, Diana, you are certainly knowledgeable about plants, Your passion really shine in your lenses.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 4 years ago

      I like hollyhocks; but I've never tried to grow them. Isn't photoshop fun?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I really love Red Hollyhocks! They are so pretty.

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      They are very nice flowers!

    • chi kung profile image

      chi kung 4 years ago

      I think they are gorgeous flowers :)

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 4 years ago

      Really pretty!!

    • Coreena Jolene profile image

      Coreena Jolene 4 years ago

      Your flowers are lovely. I don't think I can grow those here in the California desert.

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 4 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      These are charming flowers! I would love to add some to my garden.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I love hollyhocks! Nice and tall and sturdy!

    • profile image

      makingartsandcrafts 5 years ago

      These red hollyhocks are lovely.

    • profile image

      Terrie_Schultz 5 years ago

      I love hollyhocks. I like to take photographs, and use my own on my lenses whenever possible.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have been having some fun with Photoshop Elements also - but with my horse pictures. I like what you are doing.

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 5 years ago

      Goodness... I didn't realize you could do so much with Photoshop Elements. We had hollyhocks when I was a kid. We'd turn the flowers inside out and make ladies with long skirts out of them.