Gardening with Hardy Geraniums by Birgitte Husted Bendtsen
Hardy geraniums were the first plants to shrug off the rigours of her coastal climate and grow in Birgitte Husted Bendtsen's garden every bit as well as they did in the fertile, sheltered plots further east in Denmark. Add to this their tolerance of dogs and children, resistance to pests and diseases, interesting foliage, and delightful flowers in a wide range of colors, and it is little surprise that Birgitte developed an insatiable passion for them. In this book, she shares her knowledge of cultivating the plants and highlights the most garden worthy species and varieties. Expert cultivation advice, including comments on soil preferences and hardiness, is followed by fascinating information on pollination, and failsafe propagation secrets. Captivating color photographs display key characteristics of hardy geraniums including their legendary range of flower colour and intricate, often highly marked, foliage. Here readers may marvel at the many cultivars of Geranium x oxonianum, enjoy favorites like Geranium 'Ann Folkard' with its striking black eye against magenta background, and covet the fine-leaved, blue-flowering Geranium himalayense. Smaller varieties ideal for growing in rockeries, containers and troughs are described along with perfect geraniums for associating with roses of all colours. Birgitte Husted Bendtsen communicates like a true enthusiast and the text is peppered with interesting anecdotes including news of an exciting variety that is prized for its blue flowers and modest stature. With over 400 species and hybrids of hardy geraniums and 450 beautiful colour photographs, this book is both rich in information and beautiful to browse. It is a long-awaited reference that will delight seasoned enthusiasts and introduce a whole new generation of gardeners to the charms of the hardy geranium.