Thursday, 5 June 2014

Special Plants Tuesday Talk by Derry Watkins on Hardy Geraniums

Special Plants along Greenways Lane is a magical place for those who are passionate about plants, or who like gardens. It is run by Derry Watkins whose knowledge of plants and their requirements is phenomenal, so it's worth going along on a Tuesday for her talks either at 11am or 2.30pm. This week she talked about hardy Geraniums, not to be confused with Pelargoniums which are  larger flowered and brasher and were divided into 2 separate species 200 years ago.
Derry had brought examples of her favourite Hardy Geraniums and spoke about each one in a very detailed way. Her favourite one is Rozanne because it flowers all summer and has a neat growth habit. Number 2 is Mavis Simpson which likes hot, dry conditions. 3. Russel Pritchard again hot and dry conditions. 4. Lawrence Flatman cinerareum an alpine. 5. Ann Thompson, like Folkard but with greener leaves. 6. Patricia spreads and grows over things and needs to be supported with rings. Other ones Derry likes are: Geranium mycorrhizum, Apple blossom, magnificum, Rambling Robin, Amy Doncaster, Palmatum and a purple leaved one. The purple leaved ones never grow very large, and the floppy ones need rings around them from an early age.
Having looked at these Geraniums and learnt quite a lot about them, we were taken into the garden and shown where they are growing, and allowed to inspect their form of support. I hadn't realsied how important their support is in keeping them looking good and preventing them flopping onto other plants.

I took a few photos which illustrate the robust good health of the plants and how well they are managed.
Above a Cerinthe and possibly a Euphorbia, below a Stipa Gigantica looking tremendous
Below towards the kitchen
below a border

Above a Paeony, and below some Alliums looking gorgeous with several different flower shapes.


Above and below two photographs of the same gravel garden

To find out more about the Tuesday talks and opening times, visit the website: www.specialplants.net

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