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.
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 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. https://larazonartics.weebly.com