Plant of the Month – June 2013

Geranium psilostemon

Geranium psilostemon

This is a favourite geranium of mine and I do love hardy geraniums. However, they could occasionally be accused of not being exactly exciting. You could say they are the Magnolia Dulux of the floral world – they fill the gaps in an inoffensive, backdroppy, generally pastel manner. You could say that. But honestly, you’d just be wrong and I’d point to Geranium psilostemon to make my point. The pictures don’t really do it justice because that magenta and black is a ‘zing!’ combination. I’ve seen it paired with lime green (Lady’s Mantle maybe, or a spurge) and on a bright sunny day that’s almost painful.

Geranium psilostemon

Big, bold and beautiful

As hardy geraniums go it’s a bit of a whopper – 3ft or so and sometimes in need of staking. Like many others of its kin it likes sun or partial shade and it does fine in our clay soil but should be equally happy in anything that’s well drained.

There is a smaller geranium with similar flowers called ‘Ann Folkard’ which brings along it’s own lime green leaves to zing with, thus making it a cool plant combination in one plant. Which is just a bit like laughing at your own jokes at a party.

Sometime I’d like to plant Geranium psilostemon with orange Californian Poppy and Lady’s Mantle. But not anywhere I’ll see it with a hangover.

Geranium psilostemon

All it needs is some orange and lime-green. Honest!


12 responses to “Plant of the Month – June 2013

  1. I have nearly the exact same ones as above, mine are slightly a paler pink. They do make the garden look pretty though.

  2. That’s a beauty. Needs a lime-green euphorbia, if you ask me. Florindae still OK?

    • Oh yes a nice Euphorbia – maybe the one that’s everywhere in the dry gardens (Characias subsp Characias I think off the top of my head). Florindae still ok, plenty of leaf. 🙂

  3. Very nice, Libby and not one I know. I struggle with Ann. I bought one at Great Dixter a couple of years ago and has it flowered? Has it buffalo. No idea why – shall need to move it I think. Dave

  4. What a fabulous description…magnolia of the flower world! I love hardy geraniums and have a good selection in my garden and will keep an eye out for this one.

  5. I also love Hardy Geraniums, but have never heard of this one. It is striking. I plant mostly ‘Johnson’s Blue’, the wild G. maculatum, and ‘Biokovo’.

  6. Have you grown you Emir Melons again this year. I have three large healthy plants in grow bags in the greenhouse. They have large courgette like flowers forming (I’m sure I used the right seeds!?) but do I have to aid pollination?All the flowers look the same so no noticeable differences to identify as either male or female.

    • I’m not having to do any pollination. The female flowers have a tiny lump behind them, which is the baby fruit, where the male flowers have a thin, straight stalk. Good luck! 🙂

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