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Geraniums in the fall

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By John Beaulieu (pronounced Bowl-you)

Fall (autumn) has arrived and now things begin to wind down. Not so much bloom in the garden, but still things that need to be done such as preparing nursery beds for fall in-ground sowing. This is done late enough in the fall to prevent any early germination before winter. Some of these photos were taken last year.

There are still some seeds to be harvested from late blooming geraniums, daylilies and other perennials.

Before all of the tree leaves colour up and fall, the pine needles start dropping, and I find that sweeping them up gives me a good mulch for those nursery beds.

They give the soil a little extra insulation and the seedlings have no trouble poking through when they germinate in the spring. I do an in-ground sowing for both geraniums and daylilies.

Some hardy geraniums, such as ‘Dilys’ continue to scramble and flower among the fallen leaves.

Geranium soberfiferum ‘Starman’ is also a late bloomer and does so until the hard frosts bring it to an end. At this point in late September we have had frost warnings and the temperatures have dipped to one and two degrees C some nights, but so far no frost has formed here. They have had to scrape car windows in the morning in nearby parts of the county.

Many of the hardy geraniums develop fall colour that rivals the trees!

Even some of my seedlings (not yet planted in the ground) are displaying a change in foliage colour.

The leaves of Geranium rubescens (a biennial), much like a giant Herb Robert, has leaves turning a brilliant red.

Some Geranium wallichianum continue to flower, sometimes even into November (weather permitting).

The other ‘W’ geranium, Geranium wlassovianum, is also a late bloomer. I grow the regular species as well as the popular new cultivar ‘Lakwijk Star’. The two are very similar, but ‘Lakwijk Star’ has larger flowers and leaves.

Geranium wlassovianum (the W is pronounced as a V) is one of the very best geraniums for fall colour in the garden.

Not only does G. wlassovianum colour up like a maple leaf, the shape is also much the same. This prompted me to consider making a Canadian flag with Geranium wlassovianum leaves.

More blog posts by bowl_you

Previous post: Looking at Geranium wallichianum

Next post: Late bloomers and geranium seed cleaning



Super colours of the flowers and of the leaves :o)

2 Oct, 2013

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