New to me…..

Horrible UK election result disrupted normal service today, but the best thing to do is to talk about what’s new in the garden for this year and share what I am trying to do with these new plant friends.

Geum 'Totally Tangerine', Tostat, May 2015
Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’, Tostat, May 2015

I had a go with Geum ‘Mrs Bradshaw’ back in the early days in Tostat, but lost it as I miscalculated summer dryness, coming from Linlithgow. So, it has taken me a long while to re-consider Geums. But, this spring, in a slightly shaded part of the garden, and therefore a little more damp, I decided to try Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’. Back in 2010, I had read the great plantsman, Graham Rice, on this new Geum, and many of the American sites were talking about its enhanced ability to cope with dryness, and then I saw it in profusion at Chelsea almost every year since, so that decided me to give it a try.  I got 3 good sized plants late last summer, and so they bulked up quite a bit over the autumn, and this spring, they did literally spring into life in early April, flowering by the end of April. They waft beautifully over the box hedge, standing about 1m high to the tips of the flowers and so I really hope that they will keep coming as promised.

'Totally Tangerine' wafting over the box, end April, Tostat 2015
‘Totally Tangerine’ wafting over the box, end April, Tostat 2015

So, on the tangerine theme, I have done something never before done by me, I have planted Geum ‘Alabama Slammer’ near to ‘Totally Tangerine’. Now this might be a Geum too far, but actually, as ‘Alabama Slammer’ is half the height and, whilst in the same colour zone, has some pretty marking differences, I actually rather like the combination.  So as not to overdo it, I have also interplanted Molinia caerulea ssp. caerulea ‘Edith Dudszus’, which will provide a good contrast. I say, ‘will’ as it is only now making a re-appearance so no photo of mine to show, so I have borrowed a photo from a great nursery in the Lakes that I have bought plants from in the past, Cath’s Garden Plants near Heaves. Its dark flowers and upright green stems should make a nice frame for the Geums.

Geum 'Alabama Slammer' Tostat, May 2015
Geum ‘Alabama Slammer’ Tostat, May 2015
Molinia caerulea ssp.caerulea 'Edith Dudszus' credit:
Molinia caerulea ssp.caerulea ‘Edith Dudszus’

And, over on the other side of the path, I am trying out a new Geranium. I used to have a passion for geraniums in Linlithgow, especially the shade-loving Geranium phaeum, but moving here 11 years ago, I found it hard to find much other than the standard pink one. Now, there are many on-line nurseries that deliver great plants in great condition, such as Le Chatel des Vivaces, where I found and bought Geranium ‘Catherine Deneuve’. Like her namesake, she is a class act with elegant magenta star-shaped flowers with stamens that project like little jewels, and an upright form.  These have proved tough and sturdy so far, and I have high hopes. It’s been windy here and has blown the first flower off (!) so here is the photo from Coblands in the UK. Check her out on their site via the link- they give her a full name of Geranium psilostemon ‘Catherine Deneuve’.

Geranium 'Catherine Deneuve' credit:
Geranium ‘Catherine Deneuve’

And lastly, a plant that I haven’t dared to put outside yet, but I will soon, is new-to-me Pelargonium ‘Ardens’. It is an electric red, dark centres to the petals and the most intense colour with groups of tiny, delicate flowers. It really is this colour! Quite loose and floppy as a plant, but that may be youth, so I shall try and toughen it up with some outdoors experience if the wind stops blowing!

Pelargonium 'Ardens' Tostat May 2015
Pelargonium ‘Ardens’ Tostat May 2015