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.
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.