As gardeners we tend to love colour, tempered by green, from plants that seem to simply “do their thing”. One of the best for this is the hardy geranium – a stalwart of the garden border that comes up year after year. And of the wide number available, Geranium Rozanne* is one of the best. It’s vigorous yet well-behaved, and grows to about 60cm (24in).
Every year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show we choose a new Plant of the Year. However, a few years ago, for the centenary of the show, we selected a Plant of the Centenary and this beautiful, sturdy, reliable performer was the winner.
Geranium Rozanne has many great features. The first one to show itself is the subtle two-tone green lobed leaves that emerge in mid-spring from overwintering hummocks. The second is the bow-shaped violet blue flowers. Reaching up to 5cm (2in) across, they have the most beautiful colour, and the centre of each flower is distinctly paler, with dark pinkish veins running from the blue to the white. In the very centre, the contrasting dark blue stamens finish the picture with style.
It’s the kind of plant that will fit in anywhere. Try it under shrubs or out in the open, and even in a container. We grow it in an open bed in the AGM Borders and under camellias near Weather Hill Cottage at RHS Garden Wisley. It’s a pretty easy plant to have in the garden too. Just a quick tidy up of old leaves and flower stems if it looks a little straggly will encourage fresh new growth.
There’s clearly a lot going for a plant that was shortlisted for and won Plant of the Centenary. We can’t recommend it enough. What a beauty!
Buy Geranium Rozanne = 'Gerwat' from the RHS Plant Shop
[*The full name of this plant is Geranium Rozanne (‘Gerwat’). Rozanne is the selling name or trade designation, and 'Gerwat' is the official cultivar name. The selling name can vary from country to country, but the cultivar name always stays the same.]