I wrote a post about these flowers last year, but I bought some new varieties in the autumn in small 6 cm pots and they are in flower now so I thought I would introduce you to them. In early May I spent a weekend potting up all my older pellies and removing the cuttings from pots that I had stuck in when bits broke off. The scented leaf ones have done really well and I might leave some of the larger plants out this winter. I really have far too many plants in pots and have to stop taking cuttings!
The species Pelargonium is a half hardy shrub first collected in South Africa and brought to Britain in the mid seventeenth century by sailing ships from the Dutch East Indies Company. NOT a Geranium as it is still often mislabelled in nurseries around the country. The name Geranium rightfully belongs to a group of hardy herbaceous plants native to Great Britain, Northern Europe and North America.
There are over a dozen varieties including Regal, Zonal and Scented-leaved which I tend to favour, though the new Stellar Pelargoniums which were bred as recently as the 1970’s in Australia, are quite exotic looking. You can use these flowers in the borders, in tubs or containers or in hanging-baskets or in a glasshouse. They are cheerful, colourful (from white to dark purple and almost black) and fairly resistant to pests and diseases. Even the S&S leave them alone which is one good reason for me to grow them. In winter I bring them indoors and now that I have a cold conservatory they do very well, continuing to flower most of the year.
- Fairy Fantasy. A large bushy growing Stella Pelargonium with plenty of flowers that have creamy white lower petals shading to salmon pink. The upper petals are salmon pink shading to white at the edge.
- Mr. Wren. This is a very old variety of Zonal Pelargonium. An upright vigorous plant with these amazing single flowers of scarlet red and a wide white border.
- Nellie Nuttall. This is a Single Zonal Pelargonium with a close compact habit. The flowers are white with a dark salmon ring at the centre.
- Berkswell Golden Aniversary. A lovely golden leaved Angel. Profuse lilac-pink flowers have a purple blotch on upper petals and the petals are lightly clipped. The plant is well shaped and the golden foliage always stays a good colour.
- Carisbrooke is one of the old Regals. Classic flower shape. Soft shell pink with purple feathering on upper petals.
- Black Prince is a very old Victorian Regal variety which means it has an old fashioned look. With its purple black flowers edged white and with a white throat it certainly stands out.
I had ordered 8 new plants and only one has failed to survive, Lord Bute. I
might have to order him again… in fact a few more of these lovely plants might join him. They do after all keep me happy during the winter months.
See here for the participant’s guide.