Plant of the month: January
Geranium himalayense – Hardy geraniums a member of the family Geraniaceae, can be seen on the Azalea Bank and in many places around the Gardens.
This wonderful plant with deep lavender flowers, that appear in May and carry on into the autumn, spreads by underground rhizomes to form a dense carpet 30-45cm high. It is an excellent ground cover plant along with its many relations. As an added bonus its handsome finely cut leaves colour well in the autumn.
If the leaves begin to look tired, you can cut them all off with shears, water and feed the plant well and you will be rewarded with a new flush of lush leaves.
There are many examples of hardy geraniums, there is one for virtually every situation, and we grow many in the Garden – look out for them.
The large pale blue flowers are up to 4cm in width and have creamy grey backs to the petals.
The plants are hardy and have come to us from the woods and mountain pastures of Europe. They need moist fertile soil, but can tolerate drier conditions in the summer when they are dormant.