Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Flower That Has Roots. Geraniums Are a Staple of Summer but There May Be More Varieties Than You First Thought

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Flower That Has Roots. Geraniums Are a Staple of Summer but There May Be More Varieties Than You First Thought

Article excerpt

Byline: YOUR GARDEN With Diarmuid Gavin

The humble geranium is one of the most dependable summer garden plants. Just about all of us have grown up with them, most people know a little about growing them, and we can all enjoy their blossoms and broad, furry, sometimes scented, foliage.

The botanical name for the plant is pelargonium, which distinguishes them from their herbaceous perennial cousins which are called hardy geraniums. However, most of you will know and purchase them simply as geraniums.

They are a great little plant because they are so easy to propagate. Their near-indestructible qualities are due to many of the species originating in southern Africa.

So while they don't do frost, they'll cope with a lot of neglect and are particularly tolerant of heat and drought.

To explain the different types of geranium, the ones that are commonly used as bedding plants are known as zonal, so called because of the darker zone on their leaves.

Many of these have the bright pink, salmon and red flowers that we associate with this plant, evoking images of whitewashed Greek cottages with terracotta pots of colourful blooms.

Attar of Roses Credit: www.crocus.co.uk If you want to plant trailing geraniums for display in hanging baskets, look for ivyleaved varieties. Scented geraniums are grown more for their fragrant leaves which, when crushed or brushed, release their fragrance.

This makes them great for the edges of pathways during summer, or on patios near seating areas.

Their essential oil is extracted and used in the perfume industry, and they are also used as culinary herbs.

The range of scents is astonishing.

While lemon and lavender are most common, you can also find peach, pine, ginger, nutmeg, pineapple, coconut and even raspberry.

The key point to remember when caring for them is that they come from semi-desert areas. …

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