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


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
 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

Monday, 22 August 2016

Ashfield Serenade - and Pelargoniums in Sweden

Zonal pelargonium "Ashfield Serenade"

Raised by Keith Kitson and introduced in the UK in 1975. Dark green leaf, lightly zoned. Compact and dense growth, short jointed.

Earlier this month I went to Sweden to stay with Anne Hammarqvist and to visit her local Society's Annual Flower show and sale.  It was a wonderful experience and Anne and all the members of Malardalens Pelargon Vanner made me so very welcome - I felt as if I had known them always.  Thank you all for your friendship and generosity.  Here a some photos I took of the show.


Monday, 11 July 2016

Quantock Perfection, the late Ken Dymond and PAGS National Show

Quantock Perfection

Ken Dymond, who sadly passed away last week, raised many pelargoniums.   He was a very experienced hybridiser and was well known for the Quantock series of Angels which he named mainly after family members.  He also introduced the Mendip range of Regals and a few zonals with the prefix Blackdown. 

Ken was also an experienced Pelargonium Judge.  He will be sadly missed by many.

The Pelargonium & Geranium Society held their Eights National Open Show last month at Capel Manor.    All the exhibits were of a very high standard.  The following are just a few of the photographs I took.  

Monday, 6 June 2016

Ken Lea - Golden Tri-colour Zonal Pelargonium and My Local Show

"Ken Lea" - Tri-coloured zonal pelargonium

This beautiful  golden tri-coloured zonal pelargonium was raised by Andrew Simmons of the UK and released in 2001.  The semi-double flowers of "Ken Lea" are rose pink set against stunning tri-coloured leaves.  Ken Lea himself used to be a prolific hybridiser of pelargoniums and there are many of his raisings in the National Collection at Fibrex Nurseries

 On Saturday I attended the Pelargonium Show of my local Society - Farnborough Fuchsia & Pelargonium Society.   Here are a few photo's of the show.  Sorry about the quality of the photographs - the hall is a bit dark.

Scented Leaf " Fragrant Frosty"


My Hosta "Fire Island" got a First in the Any non-flowering plant, not a pelargonium section.

This cactus exhibited by Peter Mazillius was "Best In show" in the Any Flowering Plant, not a Pelargonium Section.