GERANIUM wallichianum (Cranesbill) ‘Buxton’s Variety’
Himalayas, N. India, Kashmir
This perennial cultivar of Geranium wallichianum produces a low mound of handsome green leaves with cream spots. In June, the plant spreads itself out on ever-elongating stems in all directions, sending OPAL BLUE flowers in all directions. These saucer-shaped flowers carry on blooming until September.
Hardy Geraniums are low maintenance plants, asking only moist, well drained soil in which to get their roots down. They are drought tolerant once established, providing ground cover & erosion control.
Cut or pinch off spent flowers as you find them. When the plant becomes ragged, cut stems back to within a few inches of the ground. Adding organic matter such as shredded leaves will regulate soil temperature & conserve moisture around the roots.
‘Buxton’s Variety’ brings forth a succession of flowers which last until the first frosts. A steady clientele of bees visits the flowers.
Other names: ‘Buxton’s Blue’.
In its many years in our small Garden, this cranesbill has suffered from no pests or diseases, bringing in many a bee. But its habit of extravagant growth all round meant that ‘Buxton’s Blue’ swamped its smaller neighbours unless deterred by the gardener.
A few years ago, the plant was dug up & put in a tall container. Its vegetation now cascades over the sides of its new home; the container can be moved when its growth encroaches on another plant’s territory.
Two years ago, ‘Buxton’s Blue’ was overwatered in its container; because of wet soil it had to be dug up and replanted with better drainage. This cranesbill does not seed itself round the garden; it grows from a taproot (left). After years in the ground, the taproot resembled small reddish carrots. Thankfully, our Himalayan Geranium has survived & had a good flowering season in 2015.
We are currently trying a similar but larger-flowered Geranium, ‘Rozanne’ (popular with bees, see below). She seems more robust than the others, & we would recommend her.
Rozanne 2022 – After a number of mishaps, Rozanne is still with us. She seems determined to survive. One gardening channel, Gardening Answer, planted Rozanne – the channel is done by Laura, a young woman whose parents own a gardening centre, so she is always keen to learn which plants can be relied on. She said that Geranium Rozanne was ‘fireproof’, judging by survival rates in heat waves on the West Coast of America…