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Hardy Geranium Group

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About the Group

The Hardy Geranium Group was formed in 1974 when interest in the plants was booming. There are now approx. 110 species and 600 cultivars in British gardens. They range in height from a few cm. to 1m. and in colour from white through pink, mauve and pale blue to deep magenta, violet and blue. There is a geranium for every site in the garden: hot and sunny or dry shade. Margery Fish famously said “When in doubt, plant a geranium.”

We are still the only association dedicated solely to this large family of garden-worthy plants, which have been voted the Hardy Plant Society’s favourite flowers. Our members provide advice and information about the plants to gardeners, nurserymen and journalists in the UK and abroad. Membership is open to all members of the HPS and we welcome those who are not specialists but would like to know more.

Seed Exchange

The Group organises a geranium and erodium seed exchange. Seed should be sent in by Nov 1st. The seed list is available at the end of November and details are published in the Autumn newsletter. The list is sent out to all members.

Activities

2018 Hardy Geranium Day and AGM

GERANIUM DAY 2018 will be held on Saturday 9 June at Great Kingshill, Bucks.
Both Hardy Geranium Group members and non-members are warmly invited.

It will be a full day's programme with a Group Plant Stall as well as plants sold on commission and garden visit.
£10 for members and £15 for non-members; bring your own lunch.
Further details will be available nearer the time.

2017 Hardy Geranium Day report

A beautiful June morning saw Hardy Geranium Group members converging on the Village Hall at Norwell in north Nottinghamshire, for many a little known corner of the East Midlands that is worth getting to know.

This was Geranium Day. Thirty or more members and friends met for, in the first place, the Group’s AGM, which went as AGMs do.  Andrew Ward, the owner of Norwell Nursery then gave our “keynote speech”, talking about the very various forms and colours which different geraniums take. He illustrated it with an amazing series of photographs taken by himself,  alongside a very entertaining and informative commentary.  After a coffee break and discussion, we all raided the plant stalls which were again well stocked.  I doubt if anyone came away empty handed.

By now it was time for a picnic lunch and it was also extremely hot so we were grateful for Andrew’s offer of shade in his garden.  After lunch he spoke again about a selection of his nursery stock (not all geraniums) and set us free to wander and explore either with his guidance or independently.  This was most rewarding: there were interesting things in the garden as well as in the sale stock.   I was pleased to come across an erigeron I had been on the lookout for.  Best of all, perhaps, were the poly tunnels, the best kind of jungle where you might discover all sorts of interesting treasures and pleasant surprises.  All was topped off with tea and cake before we left for home after a full and enjoyable day.

Oliver Folkard

2016 Geranium Day Report

A rainy morning greeted us all as we arrived at Powick Parish Hall, near Worcester, on Saturday 11th June for the Geranium Study Day. However, this did not deter a good turnout of members, several of whom had generously brought a good supply of plants. These plants, together with crates of delectables from Bob Brown, resulted in busy and successful sales tables.        .   

Margaret Stone offered everyone a warm welcome and the formalities began with the AGM, which was concluded quickly and efficiently. It was followed by Bob Brown giving us a fascinating and thought-provoking talk on 'Geraniums- Restraint and Discrimination'. Unsurprisingly, not everyone agreed that G. x oxonianum 'Thurstonianum' has the 'most deformed' flower but we did concur that 'Bill Wallis' is 'weedy' even though it does have its uses in some gardens. It was interesting to have the opportunity to discuss so many plants and their growing habits, (such as how the flowers of G. pratense 'Summer Skies' tend to 'ball' in damp/wet conditions),  and to learn that, even though G. pratense is mildew prone, the outer part of a variegated leaf will naturally produce less sugar, making it less susceptible. Bob reliably informed us that 'Black Beauty' seems to be unaffected.

After a successful raffle and sale of donated plants we broke for lunch in the hall. Throughout the morning we had been generously supplied with coffee, tea and cake. Feeling refreshed, we then made our way to Margaret's garden at Callow End.

A burgeoning table of interesting plants occupied many of us as we arrived at the gate, before we found ourselves entering a true plantswoman's garden. The large number of hardy geraniums were a joy to see, especially as they formed part of the overall planting scheme. Despite the prevailing wet, it was a real treat to wander round the meandering pathway, cross over the bridge and simply enjoy such a colourful display of flowers intermingled so cleverly with shrubs and trees. Margaret was on hand to answer many questions and this, together with more tea and cake, made this visit a really enjoyable part of such an interesting study day.       .

Tricia Newton

Further Information

How can you join?

Subscriptions are renewable on 1st January. The subscription of a member joining after 1st July is valid until the end of the following year.
U.K. members: £5.00 p.a. This covers up to two people at the same address.
Please note that this is in addition to the National HPS subscription.
Overseas members: £7.00 p.a. to be paid with the main HPS subscription unless members have a UK sterling bank account.

Please print and complete this form and send with a cheque, made payable to ‘Hardy Geranium Group’ to:
Oliver Folkard, 1, Baron’s Close, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 8BE.
Please include your name(s), address and e-mail address.

Plant Heritage (NCCPG) National Collections of hardy geraniums are held by:

Susan Clarke, Wren's Nest, Wrenbury Heath Road,Wrenbury, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8EQ
wrenburysue@gmail.com
Geranium sylvaticum and renardii
Open by appt. and on June 21st 2017
From Nantwich town centre follow A530 towards Whitchurch. At Sound School on R take 1st R onto Wrenbury Heath Rd.

Margaret Stone, Brockamin, Old Hills, Callow End, Worcs. WR2 4TQ.
stone.brockamin@btinternet.com
Geranium x cantabrigiense, macrorrhizum and sanguineum.
Open Days are June 11th and October 1st 2017, 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
½ mile S of village. Pull into Old Hills car-park; walk towards houses, keeping right.

Joan Taylor, Silverwood House, Gardeners Lane, Romsey, Hants. SO51 6AD
joanvtaylor@hotmail.com
www.birchwoodplants.co.uk
Geranium nodosum
Open by appt.
Take A3090 to Romsey. At top of hill take left turn into Gardeners Lane.
Silverwood House is on the left, beyond bend, approx. 1 km

 


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