Did you enjoy watching the Chelsea Flower Show last week? I certainly did, and with the show and warm weather it’s motivated me to get ‘stuck into’ part of my garden that I’ve wanted to work on but have made slow progress because of the persistent rain. We often say ‘right plant for the right place’, it’s not only about aspect or particular soil type but how it will affect the garden long term. About eight years ago I planted a lovely little euphorbia in my perennial bed; it looked so pretty, but has overwhelmed the bed and become a weed. It’s taken a lot of time and effort digging it out.
Instead of just perennials in that bed I’ve decided to make it a mix of perennials and shrubs with a variety of climbers at the back.
One of the most versatile group of perennials are geraniums, there’s one for just about anywhere in the garden giving excellent ground cover and colour, some have sprawling flower stems that give a bit of colour here and there in the border
One I’m regularly asked about is G. ‘Johnson’s Blue’, it has pretty deep cut green foliage and produces lavender blue flower throughout the summer. It will grow in most well-drained soils in sun or part shade and has the R.H.S. Award of Garden Merit and will look great in any border!
Geranium ‘Pink Spice’ is a very different with its soft bronze foliage and pretty little pink flowers. It’s just coming into flower now and will carry on flowering into late summer. It prefers a sunny site in fertile well-drained soil and its low growing carpet habit makes it a good choice for the front of a sunny border or rock garden.
Another excellent variety is G. ‘Rozanne’, a taller clump-forming hybrid variety and has the R.H.S. Award of Garden Merit. This variety has large rounded violet-blue flowers with pale centre and red veins.
During the summer months its best to remove the flowered stems and any old leaves so that the plant can keep looking good and flowering for as long as possible. Geraniums are easily propagated by division in spring; I let mine to grow into a good sized clump before dividing them.