Sunday, 27 November 2016

Antonnia Scammell - Stellar Pelargonium



Raised by the late Brian West and introduced in the UK through Sulman's Nursery.  Antonnia Scammell has double bright pink flowers with a white eye.  A cross between Pebbles and Emma Game.   My photo was taken at Fibrex Nurseries, home of the National Collection of Pelargoniums

The weather here in the UK has, up to now, been very mild for the time of year.  We have had some wet spells, but mostly it has been very dry.   We are due to have some hard frosts this week so I must put the bubblewrap up on the fronts of the greenhouses - I leave this off until we get very cold weather to let more light in.   The fronts face south, so not so critical they have bubblewrap, but I do put it up when it turns really cold.   The main part of the greenhouses were bubblewrapped several weeks ago.   I also need to check the heaters - should really have done this before now.  

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Floral Cascade - Zonal Pelargonium



"Floral Cascade" - zonal pelargonium
Double soft salmon pink flowers on long slender stems.   "Floral Cascade" is a dwarf zonal pelargonium,  raised by Miss Mary Campbell and introduced before 1966. A cross between "King of the Boars" and a seeding of "King of the Boars".  Green leaves with a central zone.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Golden Brilliantisima - tri-coloured leaf zonal pelargonium



 

Syn. Golden Brilliantissimum.  Golden tricolour.  Similar to Contrast, but base colour more yellow.   Small scarlet flowers.  Introduced in 1873 by Gibson and Park simultaneously.

I was given this plant a couple of years ago and I can never tire of it.  The leaves are so bright.  Like all the tri-coloured leaf pelargoniums, It is a slow grower, but worth growing.

I have been taking advantage of the mild weather to take more cuttings, which seem to be rooting fairly quickly.   I do have them in the heated propagator in the conservatory.     Those that have rooted are now potted up.  I will leave them in their 7cm square pots until spring when they will go into appropriate size pots.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Skies of Italy - Zonal Pelargonium

 
Zonal Pelargonium "Skies of Italy"
Raised by Derek Clifford and introduced in the UK in1970.  "Skies of Italy" has small single scarlet red flowers.   The leaves have a yellow edge, which is finely notched and have a chocolate brown zone.   Not often seen these days.

Now that autumn has arrived here in the UK I have been busy getting the greenhouses ready for winter.   All of the outside pelargoniums are now cut back, checked over for slugs and other nasties, and moved under the benches.   The bubble wrap is up, apart from the fronts which I leave until we get notice of a severe cold spell.  The fronts of each greenhouse faces south west and does not get the cold northerly winds.  I prefer to leave them un-bubblewrapped to let in as much light as I can.   So far, although we have had some cold northerly winds, it has been mild, so I have not needed to have heaters on.


Friday, 16 September 2016

BLACK JUBILEE - BASIC ZONAL PELARGONIUM


 
Basic zonal "Black Jubilee"
This old variety of basic zonal was raised in Australia by Bode and released in 1958.   It has single flowers of dark pink and the leaves are bright green with a wide chocolate brown zone.   

I  used to grow this variety in a large tube in the garden, where it always looked stunning, but  I have not seen it for many years.   I was delighted to be given an unrooted cutting of it recently.   I am anxiously hovering over it to check for roots.      I’ll keep you updated on its progress

Monday, 5 September 2016

ROLLISON'S UNIQUE - UNIQUE PELARGONIUM

 
Rollison's Unique
 This year I have started to gather a small collection of Unique Pelargoniums.    These are an old type of pelargonium, which differ from the more popular types.  They have a different growth habit, as well as flowers and leaves.  Over one hundred years ago the Unique types were very popular, but are not often seen or grown today.   In her book, Geraniums, "The Complete Encyclopaedia", Faye Brawner says that P. fulgidum is reputed to be a common ancestor of the Uniques, and it's influence can be seen in some, but not all of the types.  No records have ever been kept of which plants were used in their ancestry.
In the 1960's, the American hybridiser, Frances Hartsook bred a number of Uniques that would be able to cope with the heat of a desert area of Mexico, where she was living at the time.  She used various regals and Old Scarlet Unique in her crosses.  Sadly Miss Hartsook seems to have lost her original records with the parentage of her Uniques.

Rollison's Unique

Last weekend, on the way home from a short stay in Lincoln, I visited The Herb Nursery, a small nursery in Rutland.  They have a collection of pelargoniums, as well as herbs and many other garden shrubs and perennials.  Naturally, the pelargoniums where what I went to see.  I was not disappointed and I can highly recommend this small neat and charming nursery.  All the plants were well grown and all looked very healthy.  Rollison's Unique was one of the plants I came home with, as well as three others.   Originally introduced in the UK c.1880 and supposedly registered in 1835.  

                                                                                                            Gwen Ward