About this cultivar:
Geranium himalayense 'Gravetye' is named after Gravetye Manor which was the home and garden of the famous 19th century English garden writer, William Robinson.
According to Will Ingwersen it was collected in Turkestan prior to 1946 (presumably by Robinson who was fond of plant hunting?). It has also been known as Geranium grandiflorum var. alpinum and Geranium grandiflorum 'Gravetye var.'
In any case it provides very large rich, deep blue flowers with a red flush at the centre, for a long period from early summer, repeating in autumn. Low growing and easy!
- Position: Full sun, partial shade
- Soil: Almost any soil, grows well in Ballyrobert
- Flowers: June, July, August
- Other features: Grows well in Ballyrobert, Suitable for Container
- Hardiness: H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20°C), Fully hardy - grows well in Ballyrobert!
- Habit: Clump forming, bushy
- Foliage: Deciduous
- Height: 30 - 45 cm (1 - 1.5 ft)
- Spread: 45 - 60 cm (1.5 - 2 ft)
- Time to full growth: 2 to 5 years
- Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial
- Colour: Green, blue
- Goes well with: -
About this genus:
Geranium is a genus of 422 species of flowering plants found throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and the five-petaled-flowers can be white, pink, purple or blue, often with distinctive veining. The genus name is derived from the Greek géranos meaning ‘crane’. The common name is‘cranesbill’. Why the crane reference? Well, some species in the Geranium genus have a distinctive mechanism for seed dispersal. This consists of a column which springs open when ripe and casts the seeds some distance. The shape of the unsprung column looks like the bill of a crane- therefore cranesbill!
Geranium is often confused with its close cousin Pelargonium (florist geranium). The two plants were originally lumped into the one genus (genus Geranium), but in the 1780s, the genus Pelargonium was split from Geranium. However, by that time the common name "geranium" for the florists plants was part of the public vernacular and it stuck.
Geraniums are not as flashy as many perennials, but are getting more and more popualr again as newer cultivars become more floriferous and for longer. The attractive foliage of Geraniums, combined with their blendable, butterfly-attracting, spring and summer flowers, make geraniums staples in the perennial garden.
The genus geranium has long been recognized as one of the most durable and easy to grow perennials for the garden. They love sun or part shade and will grow in any soil that isn't waterlogged.
How to use them? Oh, the list is endless and often depends on the specific geranium, its height, habit and colour - they are not just "ground cover" plants!