Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Gem of a Geranium

In this digital age, we can sometimes be disappointed to learn that the picture is way better than the real thing. With technology we can trim the edges, blur the lines and enhance the colors to the point that the image hardly bears a resemblance to the actual subject. But let me tell you, this flower is the real deal. I stumbled on it at the nursery and all the information on the label fit my criteria for an excellent container plant but I had no idea until last week, how amazing the flower would be.

This is a Cranesbill hardy geranium called 'Ann Folkard'. The stunning magenta bloom is about 1 to 1-1/2" in diameter. It's a leggy looking plant so it makes a good trailer. This is the first year I've grown it so I can't say a lot about it with authority. The best I can do is offer the specs and then revisit later in the year to see if it continues to be as fabulous as it appears to be now.

Ann Folkard is hardy to zone 5 which is great for me since I'm a zone 7 and if a plant can withstand two zones colder, there's a good chance it will return the following year in a container. It likes sun to part shade and blooms June to October (music to my ears). It has a spreading habit and can get to be 24" high to 36" wide. The fact that it's in a pot might very well tame that growth tendency. I think it makes a good companion plant because it sort of likes to wind its way up and around the other plants which makes for a very interesting arrangement. My information tells me that it is not bothered by any of the usual pests. Altogether a beautiful plant--no retouching necessary.

Bookshelf: Container Gardening Books

No comments: