Erodium 'Pickering Pink'

Erodium ‘Pickering Pink’

‘Pickering Pink’ Cranesbill. The name sounds like it will have an all pink flower. Not really. The simple five petalled flowers have two petals that are pink on top with a distinct black blotch. The two lower petals are soft pink almost white. This contrast of colors gives this small plant extra impact as well as a fun wild flower appeal. It forms a tight mound of soft, divided foliage to 3″ tall by 10″ wide. The cheery flowers are born on 6″ wiry stems. Blooms appear continuously from mid-spring to frost. Erodiums bloom and bloom with little intervention from the gardener. They also excel in the rough life of hellstrips. In borders, rock gardens, containers, even small meadow gardens this European native is excellently adapted to our climate. Light summer water increases the flower display and spent flowers can be snipped to not only spur more but to achieve a tidier look. Evergreen foliage and low stature also make it appropriate between pavers. Some deer resistance as well as rabbit resistance.  Very easy to grow.  Full sun.

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Erodium chrysanthum

Erodium chrysanthum

Cranesbills come in all colors but this is one of the most garden worthy, in fact its one of the best perennials for our climate. A GREAT PLANT PICK. Tightly clumping perennial with frilly silver intricate leaves. Beginning in spring and continuously to frost a constant supply of soft yellow cupped flowers on 5″ stems. Pale yellow with silver. YUM. Full sun and rich to average WELL DRAINED soil. Light to little summer water- actually once its established I never water it and everything is just fine. Nice en mass. Rock gardens- thrives in the hellstrip. Not a fan of shade. Winter deciduous- unusual for an Erodium. Long lived.

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Erodium x 'Fran's Delight'

Erodium x ‘Fran’s Delight’

If you’ve never grown any of these selections of Crane’s Bill- Erodiums which are close Geranium relatives you really are missing out. This cultivar is a Xera favorite. Low clumps of dense frilly gray foliage are evergreen and a cool canvas for the constant supply of outward facing luminous lavender purple flowers on 8″ stems. Continuously from March to October it produces these simple flowers that have a darker purple blotch on the bottom two petals. Much wilder looking than hardy Geraniums they are invaluable because they take up virtually no space- and again their bloom season is phenomenal. Not bothered by pests of any kind- including slugs and snails. Deer mostly over look them but they will dine if their attention goes that way. Full sun to quite a bit of shade which does not diminish their blooming power. Well drained soils of average to slightly enriched fertility. Remove spent flower spikes to to tidy and encourage more flowers. Forms a clump to 1′ wide in time. Fantastic plant. Come on join us in the world of Cranesbills.

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Erodium x 'Merstham's Pink'

Erodium x ‘Merstham’s Pink’

Flowery, easy rewarding perennial that blooms consistently from April to September. This sprawling plant assumes a rounded shape and bears 4″ stems with cup shaped rose pink flowers. Loved by pollinators and if it takes a break from blooming in the heat you can give it a hair cut and and some water and wham! you are back in business. The low, flush leaves are bright green and frilly and mostly evergreen. Great wildflower appeal that does not flail or swamp as most hardy geraniums do. It sticks to its place- about 1′ x 1′. Very good along steep walls or in a cottage garden. Excellent companions are Dianthus ‘Dainty Dame’, Scutellaria suffrutescens, and Penstemon ‘Enor’ for a low water flowery ensemble. Cut back hard in early spring. Light consistent water improves blooming. Great nectar source for Butterflies and bumble bees often nap in the cup shaped flowers. Cold hardy. Some deer resistance. Adaptable. Full sun to very light shade or high overhead shade. Great in containers. Long lived perennial cranesbill.

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Erodium x 'Spanish Eyes'

Erodium x ‘Spanish Eyes’

A blooming marvel is this perennial. I’ve had it in bloom in every month of the year. Beginning in early spring a truly phenomenal constant show of soft lavender flowers with a deeper purple blotch on the upper two petals. Very wildflower looking and it forms a contained clump about the size of an apple pie. The flowers born on 6″ stems should be lifted away when spent to encourage more. Not that much encouragement is needed. Full sun to quite a bit of shade in rich, well drained soil. Little summer water once established. A little water in the heat of summer will promote bloom. Evergreen low finely divided foliage is gray green and pretty with the flowers. No cutting back, easy, everblooming. Low water. What more could you want? Pictured below with Helianthemum ‘Henfield Brilliant’. What was once ‘Natasha’ is really ‘Spanish Eyes’ different name same great perennial.

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Erodium x 'Stephanie'

Erodium x ‘Stephanie’

One of the most outstanding cultivars of the floriferous Cranesbills. Fine, dense, frilly aromatic grass green foliage makes a tight pie sized low clump. From spring and continuously to fall 6″ stems produce multiple pure white flowers. The upper two petals have a central blotch of inky black. Very cool effect. This is an easy to grow low maintenance perennial for full sun, well drained soil and light to little summer water. The front of borders, rock gardens even troughs. Seldom without flowers. Evergreen. A really pretty, floriferous perennial. Mass closely for a small scale ground cover. Dense growth will compete with weeds.

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Erodium x variable 'Album'

Erodium x variable ‘Album’

Adorable ground cover cranesbill that greets summer with a continuous supply of dainty pure white flowers. Evergreen and completely prostrate with sage green foliage creeping densely along the ground. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil that is not compacted in full sun to part shade. Makes a tidy looking small scale ground cover. Works between pavers as long as the soil does not become too compacted. Add compost annually and that will help. Light but consistent summer water. Hardier to cold than listed in literature. Obviously they haven’t grown this little sweetheart.

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Geranium cinereum ‘Lawrence Flatman’

Many hardy Geranium have lost favor because they are either huge and unwieldy perennials or they don’t bloom for long enough. This one does neither. A low compact tuft of silvery foliage mostly stays put. Beginning in spring and continuously through summer simple copious purple flowers appear with a lavender back drop and dramatic darker raspberry veining. Very pretty- in combination with the foliage its a winner. Floriferous enough to be used in seasonal containers. This hardy geranium appreciates full, hot sun and open site and well drained soil. Light but consistent summer water. The flowering stems will elongate and climb  through nearby plants and flowers will show up where you least expect them. Foliage clump to about 18″ wide. Completely winter deciduous and not bothered by slugs or snails.

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Geranium cinereum ‘subcaulescens’

Where one needs a little blast of neon magenta this extraordinary and long blooming hardy Geranium can oblige. Clump forming plant with wiry trailing stems that wind through other plants before displaying the 1″ wide neon flowers. Full sun and rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. An excellent species for our climate. Carefree and long lived and that flower color- wow, nothing quite like it. Magenta. 10″ tall and spreading to 20″ wide. Winter deciduous. Combine with light yellow flowers for a brilliant contrast. Slug resistant.

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Geranium harveyi

Silver foliage and purple flowers an unforgettable combination on this smaller hardy Geranium that likes to spread. The dense foliage is compose of metallic silver leaves and would be enough of a reason to plant this dry loving plant. In combination with the the 3/4″ purple flowers and you have a real show. To no more than 6″ high an individual happy plant will spread to 2′ wide in a season. Blooms continuously for us all summer. Full sun and very well drained soil with light summer water. Excellent rock wall candidate or growing over a wall. Very good in seasonal containers as well. Cut back hard in early spring. Not bothered by slugs/snails.

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Geranium oreganum

Not many gardeners are aware that we have our own native hardy Geranium. And its a really good garden plant. Bushy herbaceous perennial that displays very large magenta/blue flowers in late spring to mid summer. It peaks in June and is quite a display. To 2′ x 2′ and completely deciduous in winter. Excellent in manicured borders or areas that receive a bit of extra irrigation in summer. Adapted to clay soils it improves considerably under cultivation. Mix with native Sidalceas for a bonafide native combination. Native throughout western Oregon but also native in the Rocky Mountains. One of our finest natives that should be used more often. Fall color is yellow before going cleanly away. Not bothered by slugs or snails (!) but not entirely deer resistant. Full sun to light shade to very high overhead shade (a tall tree canopy). Best in enriched soil with consistent summer moisture. Associated plants in the wild are Sidalceas, Achillea. Very good performance in rain gardens. Oregon native plant. 

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Geranium phaeum ‘Darkest of All’

There is something cool about the darkest flowered Mourning Widow Geranium. This tough and graceful spring blooming perennial creates dark downward pointing black/maroon flowers for months beginning in April. To 26″ tall and creating spreading colonies. The flowers appear in air sprays and float about the maple shaped leaves. Part shade to high overhead shade in woodlands, Lightly irrigated borders. Often if you cut back spent plants it will send up a second though less showy round of flowers. At the very least it will refresh the foliage. Light consistent summer water. Blends wonderfully with Pink and white flowered narcissus for deep contrast. Not bothered by slugs. Winter deciduous, emerges early. Long lived, sturdy perennial.

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Geranium phaeum ‘Lily Lovell’

An older cultivar of the shade loving mourning widow geranium. Lily is set apart by deep purple blue large nodding flowers. To 28″ tall and forming an expanding clump of handsome serrated leaves this perennial requires protection from bright sun to really perform. But avoid dense shade, so we’ll say high overhead dappled shade or part shade. Grows in any soil but appreciates some amending to start out. Regular summer water. In rich soil it requires less. Blooms appear in late summer and pop off and on all summer. Really pretty color on an old fashioned but tough shade perennial. Not bothered by snails and slugs. Oh, thats why we love Geraniacae.

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Geranium sessiliflorum ‘Red Select’

Very pretty cocoa brown leaves have fine hairs on them that give them a kind of metallic sheen. Everything about this plant is the same uniform cocoa color save for the dime sized white flowers which appear continuously as long as its warm and provide welcome contrast. Mounding evergreen plant to 6″ tall and 20″ wide. Full sun and rich,well drained soil with regular summer water. Takes less water in richer soil. A very pretty and durable New Zealand native Geranium. Not bothered by slugs and snails.

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Geranium tuberosum

Cheerful perennial Geranium that comes from tubers. This vigorous, undemanding plant spreads liberally, even in difficult sites. April to June a continuous display of frosty purple and blue striped flowers. The mass of flowers wave above 20″ stems and create a haze of purple. The deeply divided leaves are typical Geranium. In summer heat and dry forces the entire plant into dormancy. Therefore, this plant can subsist on only what falls from the sky once established. This plant can increase rapidly in rich soils, err on the side of average to poor fertility. Nice cut flower. Not bothered by slugs or snails. Mix with other mid-spring flowers for a cottage garden effect. Each flower is nearly 1″ across. Mild deer resistance.

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Geranium x ‘Rozanne’

Possibly the best hardy Geranium ever selected. Sky blue flowers with a slightly white center appear non-stop from June to frost on this vigorous and flowery perennial. To 18″ tall and twice as wide or more. Well drained soil of average to rich fertility with light consistent summer water. Planted adjacent to shrubs and trees this perennial may actually act as a climber- rambling up into lower branches and displaying its cheery blue flowers up high. Full sun to light shade and regular summer water. Winter deciduous. As with all hardy Geraniums it shows great resistance to slugs/snails. Unauthorized propagation prohibited. PP#12,175.

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Geranium x ‘Stanhoe’

Cute little spreading New Zealand Geranium with pewter brown leaves with  silver sheen and small off white/pink flowers all summer long. To 4″ tall but spreading to 11/2′ wide. Great in containers where the foliage provides contrast and the trailing stems clad in flowers arch over the edge of the pot. Very easy to grow and may self sow a bit. Easy to identify the seedlings to dispatch, transplant, or give away. Full sun to part shade and rich, well drained soil with regular summer water. Not bothered by slugs and snails.

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Pelargonium ‘Black Boar’

Sumptuous zonal geranium with deep black and green foliage and vibrant coral pink flowers non-stop for months. To 20″ tall and as wide. Seems to go up for a while but always ends up with horizontal stems. Blooms heavily and constantly- Very pretty delicate appearing flowers. This is a fantastic zonal for containers, its thrives in rich soil with regular irrigation. Rich, soil that drains. Add a table spoon of all organic fertilizer at planting. This guy loves food. Tender to cold. Over winter in an unheated but not arctic garage or try something new next year. This plant has become a real favorite of ours. Its also a fantastic conservatory plant and might work as a houseplant in a very sunny window. Full sun to very light shade.

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Pelargonium ‘Vancouver Centennial’

One of the very finest Pelargoniums or (Geranium- annual) with stupendous jagged foliage and vivid flowers. Each palmate leaf has a center of dramatic bronze and is outlined in bright chartreuse green. The star shaped hot orange flower is a bright and elegant contrast with this foliage. Compact growing habit. Excellent seasonal container subject or even bedded out. To 20″ x 20″ by the end of the summer. Rich, well drained soil with light consistent summer moisture. Remove spent flower spikes to tidy, encourage more. Moderately deer resistant. Avoid over watering. This Pelargonium is a VERY HEAVY FEEDER. Use ample amounts of all organic fertilizer. It also responds to foliar feeding with liquid fish. But fertilizer is essential. Easy, striking plant and our favorite Pelargonium.

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Pelargonium x ‘Alpha’

There is something so classic and special about this zonal Geranium. Chartreuse leaves are banded with a darker zone on each leaf. This forms a repeating pattern that is very vivid. Long stems with clusters of neon coral/pink flowers appear continuously from May to frost. This zonal geranium does not just grow up. It spreads laterally in time and a single plant in a container will trail gracefully over the edges. Full sun to very light shade in rich, well drained soil with regular irrigation. This zonal really likes hot conditions and good air circulation. Classic occupying a row of terra cotta pots. Vivid in containers and a very good mixer. Very easy, bright, and satisfying tender perennial.

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