Geraniums - recommendations please

Anna33Anna33 Posts: 27

New year, new changes in the garden...! Looking forward to getting back out there again, so going about the planning/dreaming stages at the moment.

I've got a few large clumps of the common pink geranium - I've no idea which type it is, just that it grows incredibly well, and each year starts taking over where it's planted. Spreads and seeds massively. It's been pretty good to fill out the garden in the first couple of years, but now I'm looking to replace it with one a little less thuggish.

The bees have loved it, so I'm looking for one that they will also like, and I'm very open to any suggestions.

What are your favourites? What would you recommend for a cottage style wildlife garden?

Thank you!


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 415

    "Rozanne" is a popular choice and the bees certainly love it in my garden.

    Personally, I prefer "Azure Rush" which is a "sport" from it. My friend recommends "Lilac ice" , which is on my to buy list for this year.

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 862

    Great New year's resolution, Anna! I've also replaced my 'common' pink geraniums with more interesting species. You can view my very small collection at 

    My current favourite is Geranium x ‘Orkney Cherry’. Bees love it, long flowering, great foliage...

    I'm sure fellow forum members will contribute their own favourites.

    There is no such thing as a maintenance-free plant or landscape.
    The Renegade Gardener (Don Engebretson)

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,357

    My favourite is Geranium pratense 'Purple Haze' with dark foliage and purple flowers.  It can be grown from seed and stays where it is put.  'Rozanne' is a superb performer.  I like the look of 'Orkney Cherry', Papi Jo. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 1,303

    I find Geranium Sanguineum leaves so nice to have even when not in flower. They are low mound forming and always well behaved. Striatum has the most beautiful and delicate shade of pink I like. 

    Last edited: 02 January 2018 18:12:04

  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 1,219

    I love hardy Geraniums - such good ground cover with little care required. I recommend Rozanne for a long flowering season. There are many varieties with interesting foiliage too - I like my sanguinium 'Album' for deep green leaves which colour-up in Autumn. I would love the 'Orkney Cherry' for its bronze-y foiliage!

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • Mark56Mark56 Berkshire, UKPosts: 1,395

    They are probably Wargrave pink, the most common geranium. I love Rozanne & Johnson's Blue, long flowering and the bees will be attracted by the purple/blue hue. Geranium Psilostemon/Patricia are also favourites for their bright magenta against black centres, have a google. 

    Last edited: 02 January 2018 19:04:09

  • Anna33Anna33 Posts: 27

    Thank you all!

  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,141

    Coming from the other direction - one to avoid in my opinion is splish-splash.  I have tried this in several places and so far been disappointed by leggy foliage with a tendency to snap, few wishy-washy flowers and floppy, muddy results.

    I'm trying it one last time in baking full sun and if it doesn't perform this year, it's out.

  • Anna33Anna33 Posts: 27

    Think it's between Rozanne and the sanguineum Album. Maybe both, in fact - I have several clumps to replace, so might be nice to use some of each. Lovely!

  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 1,219


    My Rozanne is in semi-shade and gives a little height as well as ground cover - great value plant.  

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • pbffpbff Posts: 314

    If you have a shady spot, Geranium phaeum is great. I have G. phaeum 'Samobor', which is an outstanding performer and the bumblebees absolutely adore it. The foliage is attractive as well as the flowers, so a double bonus. The white form is nice too.

    I also recommend G. pratense 'Mrs Kendall Clarke' and G. sylvaticum 'Mayflower'.

    I wouldn't be without G. macrorrhizum  'Ingwersen's Variety', either. It's a real hard-worker, flowering over a long season, with aromatic foliage that probably shows better autumn colour than many trees!

    Last edited: 03 January 2018 09:39:50

  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 351

    My favourites are Psilostemon and Susie White, for sun, and Svelte Lilac for shade. I got them from Plantsmans Preference. They have one of the best collections of hardy geraniums in the UK. 

  • B3B3 Posts: 4,993

    That awful pink thing is the worst PITA in my front garden. It seeds from next door. Good luck with getting rid of it. There are many much nicer ones. I plant them but cannot benefit from their self-seeding habit as I can't tell their seedlings from the pink b#####simage

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 862

    I do know that Geranium Rozane has a very good reputation. I do like its lovely blue colour but must say I'm quite disappointed with its meagre growth in my garden.

    There is no such thing as a maintenance-free plant or landscape.
    The Renegade Gardener (Don Engebretson)

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