The Best Laid Plans: Begging My Hollyhocks to Think of Baseball

I had this plan for a corner of my garden and that got all blown to shittereens thanks to a freaky freezy spring and dang-blasted polar vortex. The PLAN was to have a large 'Black Lace' Elderberry in the back, peeping through some black Hollyhocks, with a thick fog of bronze fennel and an arching, silvery Echinops ritro setting all that schizz off. 

WELL. The freaking Sambucus got nipped by the cold in the second freaking week of freaking MAY. The top was nipped by frost so instead of growing tall, she's now growing WIDE. And while I sympathize with that specific problem, IT WAS NOT IN MY PLAN. Also? My 3rd year Echinops ritro died in winter, so now I have a shrimpy baby one fighting a street gang of fennel for the light of day.
Taken while the Salvia 'Madeline' was blooming a few weeks ago

At some point, I went out and fed the Elderberry and Echinops 5 gallons of Moo Poo Tea in a feverish fit. Of course that golden elixir went on to supersize the freaking Hollyhocks and flipping fennel that surrounds.
That's the thing about gardening, you think you're in charge but you just pay the bills, bro.
A week later, Madeline is starting to fade, bronze Fennel is smoking UP!

Madeline is gone, a week later, and the Chocolate Eupatorium is finally seeing some sky.  Hollyhocks are tall as me. 

So, despite my asking the Hollyhocks, everyday, to think of baseball- they popped today. I wish they could have held one just a little bit longer, the Elderberry was just about to catch up.
Taken just now, a few Hollyhock buds have blown in the middle, tall dark and HANDSOME. If you can tell, the Elderberry in back has a lot of girth, but not length.