Monday 16 December 2013

Dwarf Zonal Pelargonium "Ben Nevis" and another Australian Pelargonium nursery

Ben Nevis - Dwarf Zonal

"Ben Nevis"" is a double white flowered dwarf zonal pelargonium and is unusual in that it has a slight green tinge when the buds are opening.  Once fully opened, there is no hint of green, but a very slight pink colour in the white.  The foliage is mid green with no zoning.   "Ben Nevis", named after the highest mountain in the U.K, was introduced in 1982 by Payne.


My second pelargonium trip when I was in South Australia was to the home and small nursery of Ann  and Frank Frahn.  They sell their plants in and around Adelaide at various local markets.   Their home with small nursery consisting of two poly tunnels (Australians call them igloos) is situated in the Inman Valley and has the most wonderful views towards the coast.  

Sunday 1 December 2013


'Duncan Eagles' - zonal pelargonium
'Duncan Eagles' is a basic zonal pelargonium with  pink petals and, unusually, red spots and splashes and has green leaves.  This is another pelargonium raised by the late Brian West of the Isle of Wight, UK.   It is a cross between Brading and Golden Stardust.

During my recent visit to Adelaide in Australia I went to see Elaine Ward.   Elaine is not a relation of mine, although we share the same surname.  I had met Elaine on my last few visit to Adelaide when she was the President of The South Australian Geranium & Pelargonium Society Inc.   She has recently moved into a new home – still at the same address but in a newly built house.    With her son they built two adjoining properties , and Elaine now has a much smaller house and garden which is much easier for her to manage, with the added bonus of her son living next door to help if needed.   These photo’s are of Elaine’s new back yard, which is much easier for her to manage now.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Black Prince, Regal Pelargonium & visit to Australia

Regal Pelargonium Black Prince has the darkest flowers and is one that is always asked about when RHS Wisley have their Pelargonium show in May each year. They are always surprised to know that it is an old variety, having been around since 1852.    The petals are a very dark maroon with a thin pale edge to them.  Dark centre to each petal with dark feathering out to the edge. The plant has a strong and bushy growing habit.

I've just come back from three weeks in Australia visiting family.   I had the most marvellous time and my sister Pauline arranged a few visits to other pelly folk in the Adelaide area. 

The first visit was to Rodger and Jenny Argent, members of the South Australian Geraniums and Pelargonium Society Inc. in Adelaide, of which I am also a member.   Here are a few pictures of their growing houses and their garden.

Monday 16 September 2013

Vectis Finery -Stellar pelargonium

'Vectis Finery' - Stellar pelargonium

Another pelargonium by the late Brian West.   'Vectis Finery' is a stellar pelargonium with double spikey pink flowers.  It is a cross between Chelsea Star and Vectis Volcano.  Brian West used the pre-fix 'Vectis' for many of his pelargoniums.  He  lived on the Isle of Wight and Vectis is the old Roman name for the Isle of Wight.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Deacon Birthday - dwarf zonal pelargonium

Just one of  twenty-six in the Deacon series by The Rev'd. Stanley Stringer of Suffolk in the 1970's.  They were produced from crosses between ivy-leaf pelargoniums and miniature pelargoniums and introduced through the old Wyck Hill Geranium Nursery.   Many of these dwarf plants are compact and self branching, making them ideal exhibition plants.  Indeed, several of them are still shown on the benches today.

Deacon Birthday was introduced in 1978.  It has double orangey pink flowers merging to white and is most attractive.

Monday 19 August 2013

Pelargonium Elmsett - Dwarf gold leaf variety

Dwarf Pelargonium "Elmsett"
With double pale pink flowers spotted and splashed with a light red against gold zoned leaves, Pelargonium "Elmsett" is a dwarf type pelargonium.   Introduced some 30 years ago in 1983, Pelargonium "Elmsett" was hybridised by the late Ray Bidwell, and, as with most of his plants, was named after a village in his home county of Suffolk.  Pelargonium "Elmsett" can still be obtained from Fibrex Nursery and Fir Trees Nursery whose contact details are on listed on the Nurseries tab above.

With autumn fast approaching, and mindful that I am going to be away in France in early September, I am making a start on taking cuttings.  In the past I have used either ready purchased cuttings compost, or lately Fertiss Plugs, but I have been introduced to Coir plugs.   I have found these to be quite successful and hope to continue using them.  They come as compressed plugs and have to be 'awakened' in water.   Quite good value at £9.99 for 100 post free.

Tuesday 23 July 2013

South African Sun - gold leaf dwarf zonal pelargonium and a visit to the hybridisers greenhouse

'South African Sun"  Gold leaf dwarf zonal pelargonium
"South African Sun" just has to be the brightest pelargonium around.  Beautiful bright red double flowers topping gold coloured leaves without a zone on a dwarf growing plant.  

"South African Sun" was hybridised by Steve Pollard and won the class for a ‘new cultivar not in commerce’(at that time) at the *British and European Geranium Society Annual Show in 2001.  The plant is strong growing and short joined, making it an ideal exhibition plant.  It has won many awards for exhibitors at both local and National level.  

'South African Sun"  Gold leaf dwarf zonal pelargonium
 In May, when my friend from California was here, we made a short journey to visit Steve and his greenhouse.   We had a wonderful time looking at the new crosses and the new zonartics.  Thank you  Steve.  Here are some photo’s I took of our visit.



* Now merged with The British Pelargonium & Geranium Society to become The Pelargonium & Geranium Society.   For further information on joining the Society see