Hardy Geraniums

standbyq13June 28, 2006

This is my first year gardening and we are basically converting our entire front yard into gardens. I have a nice shade garden on the west side of the house under some very old trees. It ranges from some morning sun to dappled shade to full, but bright, shade. I was lucky enough to be gifted with 20 beautiful hostas and 3 nice ferns. I have added a Japenese painted fern, a few other varieties of hosta, 2 Palace Purple heuchera, 2 varieties of columbine, and holly bushes against the house. I've also put in bare root bleeding hearts, garden phlox, and lillies of the valley, but have seen nothing from any of them yet.

I have been doing some research looking for something that flowers to add to this mix and have become extremely intrigued with the hardy geraniums. I first saw Geranium Phaeum "Samobor," which I promptly fell in love with. Then I started looking around online and I have found many, many other geraniums that I just adore! So, my questions for all you wonderful experienced gardeners... what are your favorites? Tell me what really works and anything you haven't had luck with. If anyone has ordered these online tell me what nursery you used, if you were happy with them! I have looked up a couple of nurseries at Garden Watchdog that have large selections of geraniums. I'm so excited about these plants!

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kimka(Zone 6B)

I've also recently fallen in love with hardy geraniums.

Geranium pratense Meadow Cranesbill turns out to be pretty easy to winter sow and I now have four nice ones growing.

I've also added Geranium pratense Midnight Reiter and Geranium maculatum Espresso for their leaf colors and a Geranium sanguineum 'Striatum' Bloody Cranesbill from local nursries. For leaf color I like Expresso the most. I've also gotten a couple at swaps this spring, including a mini that is in my shadiest spot.

Since most of these are new, I can't tell you how well they will come back, but so far they are all thriving.

Since this is m

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 9:59AM
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janetr(Ottawa USDA 4a)

Rozanne and Jolly Bee are the longest-blooming geraniums. They are very similar to each other. I bought my Rozannes locally.

Janet's Garden

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 2:51PM
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poseyplanter(5A IL)

Hi standbyq13!

I am delighted with Geranium macrorrhizum aka Big Root/Foot Geranium. The flowering period is fairly brief  in the spring about the middle of tulip time. Flowers range from pinky-off white, light pink and magenta. The real star is the scented foliage! From a distance* the fragrance is minty/gingery/ice tea like. Very refreshing. The plant has a mounding habit that suppresses weeds. Also, the plant will grow in dry shade such as under a deck or a thirsty tree:)

*Up close, the fragrance is pungent and strong.

Regards,
PoseyPlanter

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 8:01PM
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gardengal48

The hardy geraniums are a diverse genus and not all will fare well in lots of shade. Some of the best geraniums for shade include the phaeums (Samobor is great but reseeds very freely), macrorrrhizums, himalayense and nodosom. Most of the other species and hybrids will prefer at least part to full sun. And those with dark foliage absolutely need sun or the foliage will wash out and lose color.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 1:29AM
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