Hardy Geraniums, by Jacqueline Aviolet

On 10 April, Grayshott Gardeners were treated to an enthusiastic and humourous evening talk by Jacqeline Aviolet who has been giving horticultural talks since the last century.  She runs her own nursery, Rosie’s Garden Plants, growing and selling plants via mail order.  She also sells plants at shows and at her talks.

Throughout her talk, Jacqueline demonstrated how to take cuttings of geraniums and gifting them to members of the audience.  She made the cuttings by taking the leaves off down to the base and then planting it into the side of a pot, not the middle.  She said that planting the base at the side of the pot was the best way of getting the plant to root.  She recommended taking cuttings from now until August and said that as she didn’t own a greenhouse, all her plants are cultivated outside.

Hardy geraniums are mostly pink, blue, mauve and white.  They grow in sun and also like shady areas.  They do not have to be taken inside in the winter,  and different geranium varieties will re-grow and flower from Spring to Autumn. Jacqueline described different varieties of plants, one of which was the Geranium Wlassovianum –  Martyn & Emma (a wedding present for her nephew) which she introduced and is in the RHS listing.  This geranium is a mauve/pink white eye, which flowers in July/September and likes sun and semi shade.

Jacqueline finished her talk with the history of geraniums,  including how the projectile dispersal unit of a geranium was discovered and how the seedhead was thought to resemble the head and beak of a bird.