Six on Saturday | More Geraniums

Hardy geraniums that is. Not pelargoniums, even though I still see them labelled as such in supermarkets and garden centres (and nurseries who should know better). I have bought some of the bedding ones to fill a pot or two, but hardy geraniums are the ones you plant into the ground and they (should) come back every year. ‘Cos they are hardy, see?

Cranesbill, or hardy geraniums, are perennial border plants with saucer-shaped flowers in shades of pink, purple and blue. They’re easy to grow, thrive in shade and flower for months. 

Having paid a visit to Margery Fish’s beautiful cottage garden in East Lambrook a couple of weeks ago I came home with four more geraniums. G. Phaeum “Lily Lovell”, a pretty deep violet-blue, G.Phaeum “Samabor”, a very dark purple, G. Pratense “Mrs Kendall Clarke”, a soft grey-blue and G. sylvaticum “Album”, white of course. None of which feature this week I’m afraid as I got all the top growth removed so they’d transport better. So we’ll stick with those that are in fact in bloom right now:

(1) Geranium × oxonianum in various shades of pink fill my Woodland Border at this time of year and continue through to October. The flowers are lovely, the leaves not so much, too many of them. And beware, these geraniums are very promiscuous, they spread their seed everywhere! One of these could be “Wargrave Pink”

(2) Geranium “Anne Thompson” is a compact variety of Anne Folkard. The same bright magenta-pink black-eyed flowers and lovely fresh bright green young leaves. Anne is a spreader and currently lives in the Dappled Shade border where she certainly catches your eye.

(3) Geranium x magnificum has hairy green leaves that have a nice autumn colour. Masses and masses of large bluish purple flowers form when it starts to bloom, but sadly these don’t last for long, flowering in May and June.

(4) Geranium himalayense ‘Derrick Cook’ is a compact form of Geranium himalayense. It has very large white, saucer shaped flowers that are delicately veined with purple eyelashes. Derrick has been moved around the garden, but seems to like his most recent resting place which is in dappled sun under the Hazel tree.

(5) Geranium ‘renardii’ is a very attractive plant forming a soft mound of sage green scalloped-edged leaves and the almost white flowers have a network of delicate purple veins in early summer. I have complained a lot about its lack of flowering on the blog, but this year it seems to be making more of an effort. It is still worth growing for the lovely foliage alone. Unlike the spreaders this one forms a lovely neat cushion.

(6) Last year’s newcomer is G. “Rozanne” to which hardly any gardener needs introducing to, flowers for months because it is sterile. Rozanne brightens up any corner in which she lurks with her huge, glowing violet blue, saucer-shaped flowers with distinctive white eyes and reddish-purple veining. She’s a bit of a spreader too so may require dividing either in spring or autumn. Named after nurserywoman Rozanne Waterer.

Geraniums are very popular in cottage gardens and are great for pollinators providing nectar for a long time and they are easy to grow in most conditions, though some prefer a sunny spot. You really have to get close to the flowers to understand the beauty of these flowers with their different coloured ‘eyes’ and stamens (eyelashes) and veining.

I think I have around 15 different hardy geraniums. How many do you have? And is there any particular variety that stands out for you?

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. Such beautiful colours and so many types of geraniums

    1. Heyjude says:

      And all so beautiful. I was very tempted at the nursery I can tell you, but running out of planting space now.

  2. March Picker says:

    Oh Jude, would you please pop over here and identify more geraniums? Yours are beautiful and some are very familiar. 😉

    1. Heyjude says:

      There are so many lovely ones.

  3. Beautiful flowers! 💐💐💐

  4. They always make a pretty display.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes. If only they didn’t have so much foliage though, but that’s probably down to my soil. In poorer soil they’d flower more and have less greenery.

  5. Joyce says:

    So, so pretty!

    1. Heyjude says:

      They certainly add charm to the garden.

  6. Nothing pulls me in like a title of ‘More Geraniums’! A great selection you have, I’m a big fan of G. himalayense, I will look out for ‘Derek Cook’ to grow alongside my ‘Gravetye Manor’, they would look splendid together. Very taken with Renardii too, such lovely foliage. I think you’ll enjoy G. sylvaticum, mine didn’t do much in its first year but bloomed prolifically this year, now the show is over for that one but so many more like Rozanne to take up the baton…

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have started to be more patient with new plants and not expect too much from them the first year or two. I tend to buy plants small so they have to grow on. Sylvaticum is in the dappled shade bed so I shall keep my eye on her. And now off to look up ‘Gravetye Manor’.

  7. I have pelargoniums in my garden, and have to confess that I have never tried growing the true Geraniums. I’m not sure whether they would survive the Queensland climate. Now having read Jane’s comment I think it would probably be too hot and humid for them here.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I used to grow pelargoniums outside in Cape Town as there was no frost. I might leave mine out here this winter, just cover with fleece if it gets too cold.

      1. I realised after reading your blog about geraniums, that all I had ever grown were pelargoniums, both in JHB and over here. There are a few varieties of Geranium available here from online nurseries in the cooler states (Victoria and Tassie), so if here is a particularly hardy one I might try that one first. They are really beautiful!

        1. Heyjude says:

          I guess they prefer a more temperate climate. And there are so many very beautiful pelargoniums

  8. BeckyB says:

    Geranium x magnificum self seeded and is now slowing spreading across the garden. Rather fabulous

    1. Heyjude says:

      Mine doesn’t seem to self-seed, but then it is in a n awkward location. I have however pulled bits off and relocated them. It’s a pity it flowers for such a short time as the flowers are truly magnificent.

      1. BeckyB says:

        I know so frustrating that deadheading doesn’t result in another display

  9. What a lovely garden you have Jude – the table and chair setting is so pretty too. It must be a lovely spot to sit and read or enjoy a beverage or two! I think I have geraniums? At any rate I have several pots filled with them and they have grown very well (some have been in the same pots for years). I think they must be hardy as they have managed to survive despite my inept gardening skills!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I suspect what you have are pelargoniums. As for sitting on the patio, that hasn’t happened yet! too much to do in the garden and the weather has been weird these last few days. Plus my patio is acting as my nursery this year so it is a little crowded. Time to take stock.

      1. Thanks I’m sure you’re right – I always call them geraniums, which is obviously incorrect! Hope the weather improves soon – I thought it had been quite hot?

        1. Heyjude says:

          Cornwall doesn’t do hot! 😂

        2. No I guess not – well at least hope the sun shines again soon 🙂

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