By the time you read these words the splendid display of spring flowers in your garden will be a distant memory. But spare a thought for the lovely Hellebores which brought promises of a summer to follow. But, what do we do about the areas where they are planted which will not come to life again until next winter and spring? Well, Roy Nunn, who spoke to the Gardening Club at their last meeting, had the answer. Plant hardy geraniums next to the hellebores. These reliable perennials are not demanding plants and grow enthusiastically throughout the summer months bearing endless flowers. Cut some of their stems back after flowering and they will oblige with another flush in the early autumn. The hellebores snooze safe and secure under the geranium leaves all summer awaiting their turn in the limelight in the colder weather when the geraniums ‘hibernate’.
Fergus Garrett, Head Gardener at Great Dixter once said “It is hard to imagine gardening without hardy geraniums. They are plants that are totally indispensable – resilient, versatile, and offer something for every garden situation. Rich in colour and generous in display, the best hardy geraniums are deserving of any mixed border.”
As British natives their cultivation must date back many hundreds of years. In the late 16th century the first hardy geraniums from continental Europe arrived on British shores and over the next four centuries species were introduced from Asia, the Americas, South Africa and the antipodes. Go along to the Gardening Centre and you will be surprised at the variety of hardy geraniums on sale.
In the next few months the Gardening Club has arranged several interesting garden visits and events – make sure you secure your place by coming to the next meeting and ‘signing up!