Backlit Stems With Seeds

Backlit furry geranium stems and seeds

Most of my ‘art’ shots are happy accidents. I give myself some credit for spotting an interesting subject, and playing with light, but can’t claim to have a clue how the picture will turn out. Here light seems to have been trapped by the hairy geranium stems and, by a stroke of luck, tinted pink. A smattering of blue blur circles in the top left of the picture hint at a blue sky, although they might be flowers. Continue reading “Backlit Stems With Seeds”

Sunshine’s Macro Monday: Geranium Phaeum

Geranium phaeum with paler flower
A paler form of Geranium phaeum, backlit

Geranium phaeum commonly has dark blooms as its folk name, dusky cranesbill, implies and the dark splashed foliage that can be glimpsed in the foreground. Jazzier varieties include Geranium phaeum ‘Alec’s Pink’, Geranium phaeum ‘Kora’ and Geranium phaeum ‘Lavender Pinwheel’ – this looks like a mix of all three. I photographed it under the close direction of John Bent in his private garden, Weeping Ash, a few years ago. Continue reading “Sunshine’s Macro Monday: Geranium Phaeum”

Hardy Double Geranium pratense ‘Summer Skies’

Geranium pratense 'Summer Skies': hardy geranium with double flowers

Geranium ‘Summer Skies’ is a clump forming perennial that is hardy in the UK. The flowers are pastel coloured doubles with yellow centres . Tiny central petals form a distinctive, open bowl shape. You’ll see the base colour described as sky blue (sky-blue pink is, for once, more accurate); the colour tends to deepen as the flowers age. Dissected foliage and branching stems complete the picture.

The overall effect is ethereal – if fairies were cavorting in and around geraniums, these would be the ones they’d choose. Continue reading “Hardy Double Geranium pratense ‘Summer Skies’”

Great Companion Plants For a Cottage Garden: Geraniums

This post about hardy geraniums, popularly called cranesbills, (not the pelargoniums) is the second in my series on companion plants.

Blue hydrangea with geranium companion plant
Blue hydrangea with a geranium companion

What are companion plants?

Companion plants complement the showy ornamentals society loves – roses, peonies, delphiniums and hollyhocks – filling in the gaps in the flower border and helping it flow. They’re pretty enough on their own terms and happy to mingle in, above or below other plants. Good neighbours, they will not compete too aggressively for food, water or space.

Their presence encourages a healthier ecosystem by attracting beneficial insects which is why companion plants are often recommended for kitchen gardens. To find out more about what makes a plant a good companion, check out the first post in the series, on astrantias. Continue reading “Great Companion Plants For a Cottage Garden: Geraniums”