Musical theatre buffs will know, but for those of you who don’t, this line comes from a song entitled June is Bustin’ Out All Over! from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. This piece of musical history is set in Maine, USA and the song refers the stirring and thrilling arrival of summer in June.Of course it doesn’t always happen that way, Summer these days seems to begin and end in April! But when it does, the effect on everyone is palpable. The explosion of colour and scent from the flowers and plants in your garden can be a very pleasant assault on the senses and combined with the sunshine, will give a lift to even your dreariest mood!
A plant with definite mood enhancing properties is the Geranium or Cranesbill. This group of plants is large and varied and they are often seen as bedding plants or houseplants. However, perennial geraniums are a wonderful addition to the summer garden producing fabulous flowers in large quantities and what’s more, they are quick to establish, and with limited maintenance they will keep their vigour for years – perfect for a busy gardener.
Geraniums are infinitely versatile. The smaller hardy Geraniums are great in rock gardens, pots and hanging baskets or at the front of borders. They can also make handy ground cover plants. Take a look at our selection – pick and choose or try them all! Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ produces pretty, magenta coloured flowers with black centres from mid-summer to mid-autumn. If space allows, it can reach a spread of 1m or more. Geranium clarkei ‘Kashmir white’ produces delicate, refined, saucer shaped white flowers to 4cm across from early to late summer.
For bright pink, trumpet shaped flowers right through from early summer to early autumn, go for Geranium endressii. Flowers on this cluster forming plant are 3-4cm across and have an iridescent silvery sheen to them. For a burst of midsummer colour try Geranium X magnificum, a gem which produces rich violet flowers to 5cm across.
One special Geranium to look out for is ‘Rozanne’ – it was chosen as perennial of the year a couple of years ago by the Perenial Plant Organisation and with good reason as it is an absolute jewel. It flowers non-stop through the growing season producing large violet blooms with delicate pale centres and dark, marbled foliage.
This selection is made up of fully hardy plants. Heights range from 45 to 75cm and spread is generally about 60cm. In terms of maintenance, cut back summer’s growth in autumn to encourage next year’s growth. Splitting clusters every two or three years will also help to reinvigorate your chosen plants.
Perennials like geraniums are the seasonal stars of gardens all around the country at the moment. They add bold splashes of colour and fun wherever you make space for them. Make sure you see June ‘Bustin’ out of your garden, plant some geraniums today!