THE internet guide to Northamptonshire UK
PLANT OF THE MONTH
YOUR SUMMER FRIEND -
Geraniums are wonderful allies in the garden, producing beautiful flowers in large quantities - they are truly classics of the summer garden. Like other perennials they are quick to establish, and with limited maintenance they will keep their vigour for years.
The following selection of Geranium species and varieties will look great just about anywhere in the garden. Trailing over low walls, in rock gardens, borders, hanging baskets - take your pick or try them all! For bright pink, trumpet shaped flowers right through from early summer to early autumn, go for Geranium endressii. Flowers on this clump forming plant are 3-4cm across and have a silvery sheen to them. Geranium X magnificum is another beauty, this time producing rich violet flowers to 5cm across. Geranium X magnificum flowers in one glorious burst midsummer.
'Mayflower', a variety of Geranium sylvaticum is a gem to look out for. It flowers in late spring and early summer, producing rich violet-blue blooms to 3.5cm across. They have delicate white centres which contrast with the petals and mid-green foliage of the rest of the plant.
One special Geranium to look out for is 'Patricia'. It is a hybrid of Geranium psilostemon and Geranium oxonianum. 'Patricia' was chosen as International perennial of the year for 2004 by the International Perennial Association and with good reason as it is an absolute glory. It has a long flowering period, producing magenta pink blooms with dark centres right through the summer.
The smaller hardy Geraniums are great in rock gardens, hanging baskets or at the front of borders. They can also make handy ground cover plants. Geranium 'Ann Folkard' produces pretty, magenta coloured flowers with black centres from mid-summer to mid-autumn. If space allows, it can reach a spread of 1m or more. Geranium clarkei 'Kashmir white' produces delicate, refined, saucer shaped white flowers to 4cm across from early to late summer. This geranium also spreads freely.
This selection is made up of fully hardy plants. Heights range from 45 to 75cm and spread is generally about 60cm. In terms of maintenance, cut back summer's growth in autumn to encourage next year's growth. Splitting clumps every two or three years will also help to rejuvenate plants.
Perennials like Geraniums are the seasonal stars of gardens all around the country at the moment. They add bold splashes of colour and fun wherever you make space for them. Why not go into the garden today and see where you could introduce some eye-catchers of your own?
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