Monday, November 19, 2012

Geraniums-Scented, Common, and Ivy

I am always afraid of overwintering geraniums. They get leggy, and drop leaves, and seem extremely unhappy. However, we had two loverly ivy geraniums rescued from the clearance rack this summer, and I am afraid of the age old trick of letting them go dormant and hanging them in a paper bag for the winter. I say every year I am going to try this with some of the seed geraniums, and every year I chicken out. We are, at last, making some major space in the garage at my parents house, so maybe next year. 

Here is a look at the geraniums living (hopefully) with me this winter. Most pictures were taken before I cleaned them up.

Such a lovely, deep scarlet red. Ivy geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum) are sometimes called Swiss Balcony Geraniums, and imagining this guy cascading down from a balcony makes me want to consider him for the Penthouse window boxes next year.

The little pink lady is not nearly as large.

But still too pretty to let the frost take.


Speaking of my window boxes, I grabbed these guys(Pelargonium x hortorum)out of them the other day as an afterthought. I can't believe that it is almost Thanksgiving and the petunias are still blooming. And, it appears, one of the geraniums. I love how the one, with it's autumnal foliage, almost looks like a jumble of all the new types of heuchera. I went ahead and potted them up.

And here is my little collection of scented geraniums, and although I have identification on all of them, that's about all I know. I can find hardly any other info, especially on the one called 'Logee's', which I'm guessing is a hybrid created at their nursery. Grown with a passion in the Victorian era, leaves were used for perfume, potpourri, and sometimes cooking. Just a slight rub on the plant releases their sometimes delicate, sometimes strong, fragrance.

The fuzzy leaf of Pelargonium 'Logee's' scented geranium

The teeny leaf of 'Cook's Snowflake'. Slightly rose scented.

The deeply-cut leaves of 'Dr. Livingstone' (which is how mine is labeled-also found under 'Dr. Livingston'). A strong lemon-rose scent. Indeed, this is the most fragrant of the three.

These were all bought on a whim during a sale, but I must admit I'm now rather interested in them. 'Dr. Livinstone' is growing as almost a perfect topiary specimen. Do I cut him way back and hope he gets bushy? I think I'll wait until he goes back outside and has a better chance at normal (less struggled) growth.