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Photos of Red Hollyhocks and Simple Adobe Photoshop Tips

Diana was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society. She & her family all love gardening. She enjoys photographing & painting plants too.

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. Looking back, I think it was because London clay can be very solid, and needs to be broken up, fertilized and mulched, to make it more plant-friendly.

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 which soon grew taller than me.

The Colors Were Spectacular and of Course I Had to Take Photographs of my Hollyhocks for Posterity

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

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.

Dark 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.

Bright Red Hollyhocks

This is a Photoshopped Version of the Same Hollyhock Picture

I "Liquified" the Above 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.

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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, being nearly 80 years old, 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.

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

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 Comments section at the foot of this page about what you thought of it.

The Photoshop Programme I use is Photoshop Elements 10 but There are Now More Recent Photoshop Programmes

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.

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.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018 and Premier Elements 2018 - This is the Really Up-To-Date Version

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!

Here's a Popuar YouTube Photoshop Tutorial

Red Hollyhocks - Did you Enjoy This?

Comments - I'd love you to leave a comment here

Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on June 20, 2018:

I was hoping my article would encourage people to try out a few new things - I hope you enjoy your little adventure, Virginia

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on June 17, 2018:

Very interesting effects with the different programs. I'm going to go experiment a little.

Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on June 05, 2018:

I've got lots of them just about to come into bloom in my garden (they'll be out in mid June).

Thelma Alberts from Germany on May 28, 2018:

Wow! The photos are beautiful. I love the beauty of Hollyhocks. Thanks.

Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on June 12, 2014:

@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!

Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on June 12, 2014:

@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.

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage from southwestern Virginia on June 11, 2014:

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 on June 10, 2014:

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

GrammieOlivia on June 10, 2014:

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!

Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on December 22, 2013:

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

Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on December 22, 2013:

@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

Barbara Walton from France on December 21, 2013:

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.

Sharon Bellissimo from Toronto, Canada on December 21, 2013:

Lovely photos. Hollyhocks are a very pretty plant.

norma-holt on May 06, 2013:

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

ohcaroline on May 05, 2013:

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

anonymous on May 05, 2013:

I really love Red Hollyhocks! They are so pretty.

goldenrulecomics from New Jersey on May 05, 2013:

They are very nice flowers!

chi kung on May 04, 2013:

I think they are gorgeous flowers :)

ismeedee on May 04, 2013:

Really pretty!!

Coreena Jolene on May 04, 2013:

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

Frischy from Kentucky, USA on May 04, 2013:

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

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on October 15, 2012:

I love hollyhocks! Nice and tall and sturdy!

makingartsandcrafts on August 19, 2012:

These red hollyhocks are lovely.

Terrie_Schultz on August 19, 2012:

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

anonymous on August 19, 2012:

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

BarbaraCasey on August 19, 2012:

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.

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