Geraniums should not be confused with Pelargoniums they are not the same although they are related both coming from the family Geraniaceae. Geraniums are often called Cranesbills because of the shape of the seed pod before it bursts scattering its seeds. They are a hardy perennial having a resurgence in popularity with gardeners as they easy to grow and make a wonderful display of colour in cottage garden borders and beds.
They have many attributes attracting wildlife pollinators such as bees and being resistant to snails, slugs and rabbits being just one or two. The flowers of these lovely traditional little plants come in many colours ranging through pinks, reds, blues and purple giving a long lasting display of vibrant colour throughout the summer months and often well into autumn. The hardy Geraniums or Cranesbill will grow in any reasonable soil except waterlogged and can tolerate full sun or partial shade. When left these delightful low growing plants will spread providing an excellent cover for suppressing weeds another reason they have again become popular.
With the wide range of varieties there is a Geranium almost for everyone they can be low growing , mound growing and taller growing examples are the Gravetye a spreading Geranium grows up to 45cm whilst the Phaeum is stronger and will attain a height of 80cm. Some varieties such as magnificum Rosemoor have the added benefit of foliage that will turn to attractive shades of pink and yellow in the autumn extending the season of colours these beautiful little plants have to offer.
Extending the flowering season on Geraniums can be achieved by carefully deadheading and removing any dead stalks to keep a neat and tidy appearance.