15 May . 2020
Hollyhock flowers bloom at Hollyhock, thanks to the Ouellette family
What Hollyhock didn’t have, until this spring, was many hollyhocks. These flowers are old-fashioned garden favorites in other parts of the United States, but not widely cultivated in North Texas.
But thanks to the Ouellette family’s patience and green thumb, a sunny corner of their backyard is now filled with six-foot-tall hollyhocks in a variety of brilliant colors, and that is inspiring other residents to plant some of these striking flowers as well.
Early last year, Alison Ouellette’s mother-in-law sent her a package of hollyhock seeds, which she eagerly planted.
“My mother-in-law grew up in Detroit, and she has wonderful memories of hollyhocks growing wild all over the city, and using the flowers to make dolls,” Alison says. “When she found out we were moving to a community called Hollyhock, she was very excited and sent us the seeds.”
Alison was a little disappointed to find out that hollyhocks don’t bloom in their first year, but she patiently nurtured the plants through their first summer and winter.
This spring, she is being rewarded with a riotous display of colorful flower stalks, some as high as six feet.
“The hollyhocks are going bananas in our backyard,” Alison says. “I’ve gotten so many wonderful compliments on the Hollyhock resident Facebook page, and I hope many of our neighbors will plant hollyhocks as well. They’re pretty easy, you just need to be patient to get through that first year.”
Sadly, after three years of living at Hollyhock, the Ouellette family will soon be leaving. Dennis is being transferred back to Charleston, South Carolina, for his job with a national homebuilder. Although the move will return them closer to their roots, they will miss Hollyhock and the friends they made here.
“We wanted to be in Frisco because of the schools, but I was also hoping to find some natural beauty in the area,” Alison recalls of their relocation search. “We really didn’t find that beauty until we drove across the Teel Parkway bridge leading to Hollyhock. When we saw the beautiful red flower sculptures and the open land that is now being developed as the PGA, Hollyhock felt like home. It still does.”
As the parents of four children, the Frisco Independent School District was a top priority for Alison and Dennis. “Our two oldest children were already in college when we moved here, and our two youngest had wonderful experiences at Frisco ISD. Our youngest daughter is finishing the year at Memorial High School.”
Alison herself is a first-grade teacher in Frisco ISD, and has been working this spring helping parents teach their children at home.
The family was also looking for a community still in an active stage of development, where most of the residents were moving in at the same time.
“We’ve moved around the country several times, and it’s been our experience that in a community where everyone is new, building friendships comes easily and naturally,” she says. “That has definitely been our experience at Hollyhock.”
Alison sends a special “thank you” to her Hollyhock friend and neighbor, Matt Guilford, who took the beautiful hollyhock flowers we’ve used in this blog. Matt, we at Hollyhock appreciate your photographic talent as well!
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