Geranium ‘Springtime’

The garden has been missing hardy geraniums until now. It was always my intention to plant plenty but, being supporting cast rather than stars, they tend to slip into the back of my mind when buying plants. Of course, trees and shrubs had to come first and now I can start to have some fun with herbaceous plants. There have been two notable exceptions in my dearth of geraniums: G. endressii which I had a clump of which was divided mercilessly to plant on a bank and, inevitably ‘Rozanne’ which was also divided this spring to make three new plants – so I have quite enough of that now.

A must for the garden was G. magnificum, one of the most showy of all, largely because all the (large) flowers open in one flush, making is one of the shortest-blooming of all geraniums. But I forgive it this failing and the fuzzy leaves are attractive and I wanted it because it is a plant that reminds me of my childhood.

One that is new to me is G. phaeum ‘Springtime’. When I bought it I was having a confused moment because I wondered if it was the new name for a geranium I once grew as ‘Spring Fling’ but a quick google dispelled my confusion because that is G. oxonianum.

Geranium phaeum is loved by plant enthusiasts but the petunia brigade would not give it a second glance. The flowers are beautiful but usually in rather morose colours, centering on rich purple. When it is trying to look cheerful the flowers are paler, almost pink in some cases, but they are still the colour of faded Victorian chenille. Even the white, which I also have, has petals that are thin and seem suffused with grey. But that is not to say they are not beautiful – they are – but they don’t want to be stuck with them at a party.

Usefully, they are tough and will grow in shade and that is where ‘Springtime’ would be especially useful. Though my photo is pretty awful, the point of this is the foliage which, splotched with the usual purple, are bright yellow in spring. I split my plant and potted the three divisions and they entranced me as they crept into growth in the polytunnel. I know that some would consider they are a bit stomach-churning but I like variegation and they were bright and showed an unexpected cheerful side to the plant. Now that they are coming into bloom I am pleased to see the flowers are a beet good purple, a similar shade to the leaf spots and help to tie all the components together.

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8 Comments on “Geranium ‘Springtime’”

  1. Paddy Tobin
    April 27, 2021 at 8:55 am #

    Geranium phaeum ‘Lavender Pinwheel’ is one which has performed very well here in recent years and is a very good one to divide and spread about. Another excellent cultivar is Geranium ‘Mount Venus’ which has an exceptionally long flowering period.

    They are hard to beat for performance in the garden.

    • thebikinggardener
      April 27, 2021 at 9:43 am #

      They are hard to beat. I have several more to plant out. It has just started raining so tomorrow will be a good day for that 🙂

      • Paddy Tobin
        April 27, 2021 at 1:27 pm #

        I took a dozen offsets off G. ‘Mount Venus’ this morning and planted elsewhere.

  2. Emma, West Sussex
    April 27, 2021 at 6:37 pm #

    Such a Very Beautiful image of a wonderful plant – the colour, I think, is so special – especially against the green of the leaves!

  3. Meriel in Wicklow
    April 27, 2021 at 7:23 pm #

    I also like G. Pheum, though I do find it self seeds too much with a plain leaf. I must get Paddy’s ‘Mount Venus’. G. Macnificum is one of my favourites and am always propagating for visitors. It doesn’t seem to be readily available to buy. I have a very nice blue one in flower at the moment G. pelopennesiacum, I think. The foliage disappears after flowering. I have about 30 different cultivars and varieties – a few I could do without though!

    • thebikinggardener
      April 28, 2021 at 8:07 am #

      Hello. I hope you had a drop of rain for your garden. I do not know G. pelopennesiacum. I will have to get ‘Mount Venus’ by the sound of it. There are so many good and new kinds. At least G. x magnificum is sterile so wont seed. With so much bare soil at the moment I am desperate for anything that covers the ground other than willowherb, but I know from past gardens that geraniums are sometimes too obliging!

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