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Featured Conservation Plants: November 2015

November 2015:
Geranium ‘Pink Delight’

There are many Geraniums on the market but this plant, recently introduced to the Conservation Scheme, really lives up to the name ‘Pink Delight’. It was found as a seedling growing in a paving crack in Geranium expert Juliet Robinson’s garden and she felt it worth propagating due to its long-flowering season and sterility. Given the right conditions it will flower from May until the first frosts and, being sterile, there is no worry about rogue seedlings spreading in your flower borders.

The plentiful flowers are the most delightful shell-pink and have a sheen which almost makes them glow above the compact mound of grey-green, lobed leaves.

G. ‘Pink Delight’ does not like winter wet in heavy, clay soils and has been grown successfully well in a free-draining raised bed containing gritty soil. Experiments with this plant in a border of improved soil over clay resulted in the plant nearly being lost in the winter so sharp drainage is essential. It also needs to be planted in a sunny position to get the best flowering and has only been exposed to -4C to date so hardiness in more exposed parts of the country has yet to be documented.

Propagation has been achieved by division in late spring and during summer using a gritty compost and cutting off any flowering shoots to encourage a good root system to form. Choose a clump with at least 4 ‘crowns’ and take 2 away from the main plant. Splitting into too small sections may result in loss.

The RHS Plant Finder 2015 lists only two nurseries supplying G. ‘Pink Delight’ but the HPS has introduced it to the Conservation scheme in order to increase its availability in the not-too-distant future.

The Conservation scheme involves HPS members in growing these plants and documenting the best way to grow and propagate them. The plants are distributed across the country with many local groups and individual growers being involved.

The scheme is open to all HPS members. More information about the scheme can be found here.

Since the present scheme started in 1998, we have been successful in conserving over 30 plant varieties that are, in our opinion, all worthy of being grown in British gardens. However, there are still a large number of potentially garden worthy plants in need of conservation.

If you are a interested in making this (or any other of our conservation plants) available on a commercial basis, please contact the National Coordinator.

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