Monday 24 December 2018

Fairfields - Stellar pelargonium

"Fairfields" Stellar pelargonium
 Introduced in 2007 through Fibrex Nurseries and raised by Brian West, UK. "Fairfields" is a beautiful double stellar pelargonium with pink and white flowers which are speckled with magenta.  The leaves are typically star-shaped with a dark zone.

With best wishes to you all for a very Merry Christmas 
and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful year in 2019.

Friday 30 November 2018

"Maureen" - Dwarf Zonal Pelargonium

Zonal Pelargonium "Maureen"

I don't have much success with the dwarf zonal pelargonium "Maureen".   But next year I am going to "try harder".    Although I have a note that she is a dwarf type, and she is kept in a 4 1/2" pot, I think she wants to be 'set free' so I will try putting her into a 6" pot.  Hopefully, I will then have more of those stunning flower heads.   I love the fully double salmon pink flowers on this plant, and the leaves with their dark zone around the edges of the leaves. 

This pelargonium is not listed in the International Register of Pelargoniums.   The two that are listed area Regal and a Miniature zonal.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Zonal Pelargonium "Bold Moonlight"

Bold Moonlight
Another zonal pelargonium by John Gibbons - "Bold Moonlight" was introduced in 1996.  The large single flowers are pale pink and the top two petals are white at the centre.  The green leaves have a very light zone.

Zonartics cut back.
I've taken as many cuttings as I can now - I have done the zonartics and scented pelargoniums as well as some of the species, but have now run out of space.    As I took cuttings I cut the plants back.  I also made a start on the stellars but have some to do still as well as the zonals.  Time, and space, has just run out and this is not really a good time of year to take cuttings.  Those I have cut back are growing well. 

Saturday 27 October 2018

Dwarf Zonal Pelargonium "Bold Magic", and mystery pelargonium named

"Bold Magic"
 Fully double deep salmon flowers make John Gibbons' "Bold Magic" an attractive dwarf zonal pelargonium.  The leaves are dark green with a darker green zone.   This makes a good show plant.

This is my mystery zonal pelargonium.  It is a basic pelargonium with large heads of single dark rosy peach flowers with a central white eye.  I saw this growing in my nephew's garden in Adelaide, Australia, several years ago.  It was growing like a small shrub.  I took a couple of cuttings and brought them home with me.  The plant grows well and it is a vigorous grower.  Each year I grow it in a large planter in the garden.  But I have never known its name. My sister planted it, but she had lost the label and had no idea.  I have asked on one or two Australian Pelargonium Facebook Pages but no one seems to know its name so I just called it "Dales", after my nephew.  There are now several Specialist Australian Pelargonium Facebook pages and a couple of weeks ago I spotted what I was sure was my plant.  I asked my sister what she thought and she confirmed that she thought it could well be the same as my plant as she recognised the name.   So, after investigating a bit further I am now able to put a name to my mystery plant.  She is "Lady of Spain".  This is not a great photo, but I took it to send to compare with the one on Facebook on one of the few showery days we have had this year.  Introduced by Schmidt, USA in 1947.

I see on my last Blog post that I thought life would be a bit easier now, but in fact I've had an unbelievable busy year.  However, fingers crossed, life is slowing down a bit for the time being.  I have been taking cuttings and have sown a few pelargonium seeds.  I'll update you on these in my next post.

Sunday 26 August 2018

"Bosham" - Regal Pelargonium

There are two Regals named "Bosham"  listed in The Pelargonium Register, both with the same description and introduced in the same year, so I am guessing one and the same.    Raised by Pearce, UK  before1987 and introduced through Sulman's catalogue 1987.   Bluish violet flowers, freely produced,  with blotches and feathers on top petals.  Compact and free branching.

Perhaps if there are, in fact, two Regal pelargoniums named "Bosham", someone will enlighten me?

It has been a busy summer for me.  The Village Garden Club annual show kept me busy for several weeks.  But it was my last one as Show Secretary, so life will be a bit easier from now on. 

Tuesday 17 July 2018

"Alex Kitson" - Dwarf zonal pelargonium

"Alex Kitson" - Dwarf zonal pelargonium

Alex Kitson is a new pelargonium or me this year.  I bought it at the plant sale we had at The Pelargonium & Geranium Society Annual General Meeting last March.   Members attending bring along their spare plants which are sold to raise funds for the Society.  You can often pick up something new, and this was one I had not seen before.   I am not at all disappointed with this - the flowers are beautiful - large heads of soft pink semi-double flowers above green leaves on a compact dwarf plant.  The Pelargonium Register lists it as being introduced by Kitson circa 1990. 

Sunday 1 July 2018

Fibrex Nurseries 60th Anniversary Show Weekend - 17th June Smelie Pellies and The National Show

On the morning of the show during judging I went to another talk - this time given by Heather Goddard-Key.  Heather distills oils from the leaves of scented pelargoniums. She had shown me her still a few months previously, but this was a new and bigger one.  First of all she told us which scented pelargoniums were the best ones to use, making sure only to use the leaves.  She also told us which ones to avoid.  The rose and lemon scented ones, obviously are fine.  Heather also uses P. radula a lot as the flavours she gets is very strong.  She will often use a mixture of scented pelargonium leaves. She told us how she makes the oil - it takes about 45 minutes to get a very very small amount.  But only very few drops are needed to flavour foods.  She had made a raspberry cordial using a few drops of oil which we were able to sample - and very nice and refreshing it was too.  She had also made one of her famous smellie pellie sponge cakes, and we all had a piece of this as well.    Another way to get the flavour of pelargoniums in your cakes is to use sugar that has had pelargonium leaves (washed of course ) layered, then left for approximately four weeks.

Layering sugar

Liga is wondering if she should get a still

Some of our Swedish visitors enjoying a cup of tea and cake in the WI tents

The show was excellent and, as usual, the standard was very high.  The judges had a hard time making their decisions, so much so the show opened rather later than expected.  They were still making their final decisions when the public came in.

I haven't named the plants here, but here are a selection of plants on show.

 A zonartic shown by Lynn Jarvis

 Best in Show - Standard "Sammi Brougham" grown by David Taylor

  A display in an unusual container

 David Taylor receiving his prize from Jim Buttress

Chairman Steve Pollard receiving his award from Jim Buttress

Note: If anyone is interested in using Pelargonium leaves in cooking, The Pelargonium & Geranium Society have a few recipe booklets available.  Contact their book sales officer through the website.

Fibrex Nurseries 60th Anniversary Show Weekend - 16th June and an exciting announcement

I did not take many photo's of the sales houses filled with members of the public buying their plants.  I went to two of three of the talks.  I was booked into one given by Ursula Key-Davis, but it clashed with one other.

The first one was a talk given by David Taylor (Mr. Pelargonium to anyone who watches his Video Blogs on youTube).  He told us how to prepare our plants for winter - cutting them right back to encourage growth from lower down on the plant.  I've always been a bit scared to cut too low down, but will do so from now on - if I can!  He then showed us how he takes the soil off the roots by washing them, and trimming then right back - to a very small ball of roots and then popping the plant back into a smaller pot. 

The next talk was by Steve Pollard.  I have heard this talk before, but I am always interested in anything to do with the zonartics, and to be honest I thought he was going o talk about how to care for them.  But I still enjoyed the talk.   What was exciting was the fantastic announcement he made that Cliff Blackman had written a book before he died, and his family have released it as an e-book.   I'll put the link at the end.

Many of you will recognise Liga - of Potted Jewels fame.
Add caption

 David Taylor (Mr Pelargonium)

Steve Pollard - Chairman of The Pelargonium & Geranium, Society and Zonartics expert

Link to the e-book on zonartics by Cliff Blackman
I am pleased to announce that the family of Cliff Blackman have released his book online. It is available Free of Charge for download and printing.

Saturday 30 June 2018

Fibrex Nurseries 60th Anniversary Show Weekend - before the show

It was a wonderful weekend - the weather was not perfect, but it was dry and warm.  I arrived on Friday afternoon to help wherever help was needed.  I was first set to making fudge balls from Heather's Smellie Pellie fudge.  These were to go into Gift Bags which had been made by the family over the winter. The Gift bangs also contained either Smellie Pellie Cookies or Smellie Pellie hard drops.  A pencil and labels, a jar of Smellie Pellie Jelly.  All made with Heather's pelargonium oil that she distills - more on this later. 

I did some sweeping up, helping put up bunting, helped groom a couple of large plants and gathered pelargonium flowers to put in small jars on the tables.   I really enjoyed the afternoon. 

Here are some photo's I took just before I left to book into my hotel for the weekend.

fibrec 60th Aan niversary