Plant number one was not so much a waif as a child of cruel neglect, rescued from an otherwise very good nursery in Maidstone where I found it nestling between specimens in finer fettle. It’s a hardy geranium, a cultivar of the dusky cranesbill Geranium phaeum, the Mourning Widow. A native of European woodlands it’s quite happy in dry shade, which makes it useful as well as attractive. Geranium phaeum ‘Samobor’ sports mid green leaves with a dark port wine stain. It’s notable for tall, delicate flowers on which, unlike most hardy geraniums, the petals are reflexed – held backwards – exposing the rude bits of the flower to all and sundry. Inappropriate behaviour for a mourning widow you might say, but each must be allowed to deal with grief according to their own fashion.
|Dead heads and seed pods|
The specimen in question had flowered and was busy diverting its attention into producing seed, doubtless one of the reasons it looks so ropey, with scarcely a leaf, although this doesn’t explain why it appears to have outgrown its pot. I suppose I should have haggled for a discount, but I’m not very good at that kind of caper, and it was only three pounds fifty. Tough as old boots, these things, so having dead headed it and given it a good drenching of a seaweed based plant tonic I fully expect it to be loutishly romping through the borders in no time.
Which just leaves me to be a sort of horticultural Florence Nightingale, I suppose. I shall need a lamp.