Although the cultural needs vary from species to species, most cranesbills
need sun to light shade (especially in hot inland areas), average soil, and moderate water.
Our native cranesbill
, Geranium pratense, starts to flower now, accompanying the vivid magenta blooms of Geranium psilostemon.
Buxton's Blue is another famous cranesbill
named after a great plantsman, E C Buxton, who specialised in wonderful woodland gardening.
We're talking hardy geraniums here and specifically the Meadow Cranesbill
Easy geraniums to start with are the pink spreader Geranium endressii `Wargrave Pink', Geranium wallichianum `Buxton's Variety', which has white-edged, china-blue flowers and beautifully mottled leaves, Geranium sanguineum, the bloody cranesbill
, which has magenta flowers.
cut back cranesbills
, above, and they will flower again
The other self-seeder is native meadow cranesbill
, Geranium pratense, which decorates grassy embankments with a soft blue haze.
Geranium 'Mrs Kendall Clark' is one of the finest meadow cranesbills
with its soft violet blue flowers veined with white.
Hardy geraniums, or cranesbills
, are fantastic for the cottage garden.
Ice plant, Michaelmas daisies, honeysuckle, cranesbills
are good later on.
The collections are hand-picked from a range which includes hardy cranesbills
to bellflowers, giant echiums to sea-hollies and columbines to hollyhocks.
On the outskirts of Belsay, visitors will also find a wild flower meadow strewn with both native and exotic flowers including cowslips, orchids and woodland cranesbills
to name but a few.
The name geranium comes from the Greek word for the crane, which refers to the shape of the seedpod and which gives them their common name of cranesbills