Geranium Himalayanse Gravetye is a compact, perennial ground cover plant, one species of many in the geranium or cranesbill genus named for Gravetye Manor. Mostly found in the eastern part of the Mediterranean and more temperate regions of the world, they are very useful in rose gardens, in perennial borders in cottage gardens more especially because they will not be troubled by rabbits, slugs and snails.
Distinctive from the half hardy Pelargoniums which are also part of the geranium family and generally used as bedding plants to be removed after flowering, the Geranium Himalayanse Gravetye makes a superb ground cover mat of fern-like mid-green foliage, which turns to beautiful autumn colours later in the year, interspersed with the most stunning, large, violet-blue flowers with red and white centres. The term cranesbill is derived from the fact that the seed pod is thought to resemble the bill of a crane with its beak shape which springs open to disperse the seeds when ripe.
As a ground cover plant Geranium Himalayanse Gravetye will tolerate any soil other than waterlogged areas and prefers sunny areas although it will be happy in partial shade. Planting is recommended at anywhere between 4-12 plants per metre dependent upon budget and patience as the more plants the denser the cover more quickly. The flowers which have their first and biggest flush in June will then be intermittent until autumn, especially if dead-headed, and it is always advisable to rejuvenate the plants by picking out dead foliage and splitting the clumps in spring if they are getting to large.
We supply all our Geraniums as pot grown throughout the year in order that they may be planted at any time. If a large area is to be covered then planting can be quite leisurely as there is no hurry to get these into the ground as long as they are kept watered.