Six on Saturday | Call this Summer?

Wind, rain, sunshine, rainbows, temperatures ranging from 20°C to a mere 15°C – short sleeves, long sleeves. A true British summer. After cleaning up after the odd northerly wind which bent things back in ways they are not used to we then got the usual south-westerlies blowing through. Neither of which makes photographing flowers in the garden easy.

So this week’s six are the hardy geraniums. I love these plants – cut them back hard in the autumn and up they pop in the spring. If you find the right place that is, several of mine have been moved around to find their sweet spot and one or two still have to find it. A huge bonus is that they not only come in many colours and sizes, but the S&S leave them alone and bees love them!

Famous gardener Margery Fish was once asked for the secret of gardening. She answered ‘The secret is, when in doubt plant a geranium!’

G. Oxonianum – I have several of these inherited so no names, different coloured pinks. One likes to self-sow all over the garden (possibly ‘Wargrave Pink’), sadly it is not the rather sweet white one which might be ‘Lace Time’.

Geranium sanguineum ‘Elke’ – still in a container as originally I had her in the shady front courtyard, she needs to come out and go into the ground where she should make a nice mound. Large deep pink flowers edged with white and middle sit just above a spreading mat of deeply divided leaves.

One that does make a nice mound is another Geranium sanguineumwhich might be ‘Max Frei’ I have several clumps around the gravel garden which is where I shall plant Elke. Its tiny leaves are small and narrowly divided. The bright flowers are slightly ruffled in appearance.

Geranium ‘Orion’ is reportedly a hybrid cross between G. ‘Brookside’ and G. himalayense ‘Gravetye’. It forms a vigorous clump with lots of large, saucer-shaped, blue flowers with violet veins and white centres. The foliage turns reddish in the autumn.

Another blue geranium is one I have grown from seed last year – the meadow cranesbill which is native to the UK and Europe and can sometimes be found growing in grass verges in parts of the countryside – Geranium pratense. It likes full sun. This grows quite tall and has mid-blue flowers with white veins, held over divided foliage.

Finally G Rozanne which is a sterile hybrid of Geranium himalayense x Geranium wallichianum ‘Buxton’s Variety’ makes a lovely clump with profuse large saucer-shaped blue-violet flowers with a white centre.  Similar to ‘Orion’ though slightly paler, it grows into a very large and tall plant and will happily scramble through other shrubs and plants in the border. This will flower well into the autumn.

If you want to visit Margery Fish’s garden East Lambrook Manor please click on the link to the post on my garden blog where you will find lots of gardens from outside of Cornwall. I no longer update this blog, but it is a good resource of gardens and plants.

The header photo is of Geranium ‘Anne Thomson’ which is a more compact and upright version of ‘Ann Folkard’ and was shown in the dappled shade border three weeks ago. Now much more floriferous and loving scrambling over other shrubs. The bright magenta flowers are borne non-stop from June to October.

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. Beauties all and I always enjoy the names of the flowers.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Sometimes I have been known to buy a plant because of its name 😊

      1. Makes sense to me.

  2. Rosie Amber says:

    What a lovely selection. I’m growing Cranesbill from see too. So I am glad to be reminded of its blue colour.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Rosie. I grew the meadow cranesbill from seed last year, planted into the ground in the autumn, so nice to see them flower this year. And a lovely blue.

  3. Great to see all those geraniums side by side as it were. I grow Elke and she is such a sweet thing.

    1. Heyjude says:

      She is indeed, and I must get her into the ground so she can spread a bit.

  4. I love geraniums. They always put on such a beautiful show. You’re having a typical British summer and right now it feels like we’re having a typical British winter. It’s foggy, wet and icy cold outside.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Urgh… don’t remind me. Hope you are keeping warm! I’m dreading having to fill the oil tank.

      1. We have underfloor heating and reverse cycle air con so the house is a comfortable 18 degrees. It’s bitter outside again this morning.

  5. These hardy geraniums may take over the garden but they are always good value. I must get a blue one, I don’t have enough of that colour.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Nice thing about these geraniums is you get true blues. I need some more white ones, I seem to have lost one.

  6. Beautiful photos and such diverse colours of geraniums Jude. I have many geraniums in pots but think they are the pelargonium ones. I’m pretty sure this has come up before – are pelargoniums a type of geranium or a different flower? Whatever the answer, they do extremely well in our garden both in summer and winter. I enjoy the colours especially at the moment in the middle of our Perth winter 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’m sure we’ve had this discussion before 😁 both from the same family, but these are hardy geraniums and grow outdoors, usually going dormant in winter. The ones you have are pelargoniums, but the zonal ones are often called geraniums too. These are not hardy and will die if frost gets them. Often grown in greenhouses here.

      1. Thanks Jude – yes am sure you’re right we have discussed this before! We don’t need to worry too much about frost here – occasionally it gets down to 0 degrees overnight in the winter. At present the lows are around 4 to 5 degrees (it feels cold to us!) and the pelargoniums seem quite happy 🙂

  7. Yes, the geranium is a beautiful flower – we had several in our garden back in Cape Town and they were probably the only ones flowering time and time again. Apparently they like coastal regions, so I can’t see why they won’t like it here in East London 🌸.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I think what you probably had in Cape Town are the pelargoniums, which are tender plants here. These are hardy geraniums and go dormant in the winter months only to emerge once more in spring. All very beautiful flowers though. I too had a lot of the regal pelargoniums in my Cape Town garden.

      1. Yes, you’re right … I have checked it now and it was indeed pelargoniums. Did you live long in Cape Town (and are you South African born)? Weather wise, it must be quite an adjustment – after 15 years in the UK, my brother says they still miss summer in South Africa 😉.

        1. Heyjude says:

          I am English, but lived in South Africa for around a decade – mostly in Cape Town, but also Johannesburg. I missed CT dreadfully when I returned to the UK.

        2. I miss Cape Town … and I’m only “around the corner” 😉. It’s such a beautiful and vibrant city – the ocean, mountains (and lots of wineries) – I doubt whether I will ever explore everything about Cape Town!

  8. Funnily enough, after being in Greece for well over a week, I actually miss British summer weather!

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