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.
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.
Hardy Geranium Day and AGM - Saturday 30th May 2020
Our 2020 Geranium Day will be held at Wrenbury in Cheshire. After the AGM, Julie Ritchie, Hoo House Nursery, will give a talk and we will visit Sue Clarke's national collection of G. sylvaticum and G. renardii in the afternoon. More details to follow in 2020.
2019 Geranium Day Report - South Petherton and East Lambrook Manor Gardens, Somerset
On a bright sunny June day Tricia Newton, our chairman, welcomed HGG members and friends to our 45th anniversary celebrations at South Petherton and East Lambrook Manor. There were lots of plants for sale, especially geraniums; we enjoyed excellent presentations from Andrew Norton and Mike Werkmeister; and our visit to East Lambrook Manor gardens in the afternoon certainly lived up to expectations. A good time was had by all!
Jan Vaughan, chairman of the Hardy Plant Society and an HGG member, gave a warm speech about the HGG, and quoted memorably from Beverley Nichols' book 'Merry Hall': "Well I love geraniums, and anybody who does not love geraniums must obviously be a depraved and loathsome person." And so say all of us!
Andrew Norton owned East Lambrook Manor for 14 years from 1985, Mike Werkmeister is the current owner. Their talks were fascinating. Andrew's main themes were the history of the garden, the previous owners and East Lambrook's plants both before and during his time there. Mike focussed more on Margery Fish. When Margery and her husband decided to move from London to the countryside, East Lambrook was one of the first properties they saw. It was not love at first sight but, luckily for us, they eventually returned and bought it.
East Lambrook's beautiful garden owes much to Mark Stainer, the current head gardener. He started work at East Lambrook in 1985 at the age of 14 and has been there ever since – a successful career many would envy.
2018 Geranium Day Report - Great Kingshill, Buckinghamshire
Members arriving at our 2018 geranium day were greeted by a long table full of hardy geraniums on sale, many of which are hard to find. Our members often keep the less common cultivars going when nurseries give up on them and there was a brisk trade at the sales table during the day.
Margaret Stone, our chairman for 10 years, stood down at the AGM and Tricia Newton, a former committee member, volunteered to take over the reins. Margaret was presented with a watercolour of Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Bevan’s Variety’ as a token of the group’s appreciation for her hard work in running the group and organizing many of our geranium days. Hardy geraniums seem to be less fashionable now than they used to be but this group is still the main source of information on Hardy Geraniums in the UK and is uniquely able to educate and inform the general public, and probably able to answer questions better than any other similar group. Margaret also gave a talk on “Garden Worthy Geraniums”, giving us lots of ideas and recommendations about which varieties are likely to do well, based on her many years’ experience of growing them in Worcestershire.
The garden visits were to Barry Street's garden and allotment, followed by a visit to the Plant Specialist nursery in Great Missenden. Barry has a typical-sized suburban garden which is packed with plants including many interesting geraniums, peonies and hostas. The Plant Specialist nursery was also excellent with a garden area at the top of the nursery (all plants being well labelled) and a large well-stocked nursery area, providing more buying opportunities.
As one member said “An excellent day, in the true tradition of HPS, returning home fired with ideas and enthusiasm, and knowing a lot more than when you set out in the morning.”
How can you join?
Subscriptions are renewable on 1st January. The subscription of a member joining after 1st October is valid until the end of the following year.
From 1st January 2020: U.K. members: £7.00 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: £9.00 p.a. to be paid with the main HPS subscription unless members have a UK sterling bank account.
Full details on how to join are on our membership form, or contact Alastair Hodge 01347 821678
New members will receive a free copy of the latest newsletter and of 'Geranium People', a booklet by Margaret Stone, a former HGG chairman, about many of the people who have introduced geraniums or had geraniums named after them.
Plant Heritage (NCCPG) National Collections of hardy geraniums are held by:
Susan Clarke, Wren's Nest, Wrenbury Heath Road,Wrenbury, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 8EQ
Geranium sylvaticum and renardii
Open by appointment. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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.
Geranium x cantabrigiense, macrorrhizum and sanguineum.
Open by appointment February-October.
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
Open by appointment.
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