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.