Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Geranium 'Orion'

   Four years ago when I started to lay out the bed which would become the Driveway Garden, I knew that I wanted to have some blue geraniums. They would contrast with the light pink old rose, which was the only pre-existing plant in the area and therefore my first building block in the design.

I had always loved 'Johnson's Blue' (of Hidcote fame) while I worked at the garden nursery. I inquired about it first there, but was told that its sucessor was now available instead, Geranium 'Orion'. So our introduction was made.

I have loved this plant, firstly for its fast growth. I bought one pot that first fall, divided it into three parts and planted each. They were small to medium sized that first year, but every year since they have spilled at least a foot out of the bed with bouquets of blue flowers. I do not mind its sprawling nature in this situation, though perhaps it might not be as mounded as another gardener might wish.
G. 'Orion' in front of the chartreuse glow of Sedum 'Acre'
Secondly, I love it for its two months of flowering. Once the majority of the flowers are finished, as with most geraniums, it benefits from being cut to the ground. That usually happens around mid-July in our Zone 5 area. This rids the area of the remains, and allows for the base of the plant to send up new leaves that keep looking fresh all the way into the late fall. It's leaves are nicely dissected.

Look closely...
Little buggy enjoying the view from a blossom.
Thirdly, I love it for its wonderful fall color. It competes with the burning bush to see who can produce the most vibrant leaves. The red foliage color is a real boost to the Driveway garden as the Sedum 'Autumn Joy' and asters are just beginning to wind down in November.


Perhaps G. 'Orion' will shine brightly in your garden also. Give it sun, a little mulch and let it loose.

7 comments:

  1. Hey friend. Just cut back my geraniums yesterday. Not that they needed it or anything. Had a fun day devoted to gardening yesterday. I was reminded that I do indeed enjoy it! - Bev

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  2. Wow!! those geraniums are soo pretty! I love that color!
    I loved all the close up pictures you took:)

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  3. I think blue flowers are a wonder and a gift. Great photos, especially that "bug in the headlights" one!

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  4. I have not tried growing geraniums as of yet, but I am always mesmerized by the lovely color. This blue is stunning. Great photos...especially of the bug sitting on the petal.

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  5. I LOVE your first two pics, so beautiful! With your permission I would love to try and paint one of these, they are screaming water color painting to me, so incredibly beautiful! I am heading to my nursery tomorrow to try and find these blue beauties as I usually play safe and have pots full of white...I'm in love! So love this post!!!

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  6. Julia:
    Sure! Glad to help you feel like enjoying the garden & your painting more :) I have done a very very little bit of painting myself, so I kind of know what you mean when you get the urge to paint something in particular. I am honored :)
    Julie

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  7. Wow, even my deepest, darkest geraniums don't approach the depth of color of these. I'm going to have to keep my eyes open for this one! It would look stunning with our pinks, and also with our cobalt china!

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