Monday, 3 September 2012

When geranium goes bad

Was it only a year ago that some very small geraniums were planted along the front edge of the Lasagne Bed?

     June last year, they look so well behaved and innocuous.

We're blessed with marvellous soil and the addition of much home-made compost hasn't done any harm but these hardy geranium are taking the p*ss.  Earlier in the year the plants were nearly a metre high and just as wide, they've already been chopped down once this season and look at them now.  Staking to try and prevent them from swamping the plants behind had limited success. They have turned into rampant thugs and had to be brought under control.



I still need to go through the plants and pull out dead stems and then the (current) plan is to dig the whole lot up and move them to the front corner where they can go mad in front of the hawthorn hedge.  Of course, Plan is a fated, four-letter word at Bag End and I might end up doing something completely different with them - who knows?  What I do know is that they're coming out of the lasagne bed.



Whilst working on this bed it was apparent that the lovely Cotinus coggyria 'Grace' was continuing to receive a thrashing in the wind.  She suffered badly last year and I hoped that 12 months of root development would be sufficient to enable this lovely shrub to anchor the front corner of the bed.  It's not to be, a couple of stems have already snapped and the whole bush was leaning badly.  I've rigged up a temporary windbreak and once the plant is dormant I'll dig it up and find her a less exposed new home.






7 comments:

  1. I love cotinus. As for geraniums - I think one in our front garden bed that looks a lot like yours has seeded as some suspiciously similar leaves are growing quite a distance away from the main plant!

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    1. Cheers Sue, I'm hoping the cotinus will move OK if I leave it until the plant is completely dormant. It certainly can't stay where it is without permanent wind protection which isn't an option.

      Not sure which geranium this is but it's aiming for world domination :}

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  2. I've learned to cut my geraniums back to the ground in spring after they've done blooming, else they overgrow everything else in that bed. Then the greens grow back in a mannerly fashion. Then they freeze to the ground in winter. No world domination here. I've lots of plants that could take over the planet it it weren't for freezing cold winters. That's a pretty maroon plant.

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    1. World domination or not - that lasagna bed is looking quite lovely.

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  3. I have some thuggish geranaiums too but they survive mole runs round their roots, the rabbits don't eat them, the leaves smell wonderful and they will thrive anywhere so I use them as fillers in awkward spots and then pull them out when when they threaten world domination! Some I pulled out last year and put on the compost heap have flowered this year!!!

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  4. Jill, Kris, thank you for the comments. Consensus appears to be that I should be ruthless and give these plants a damn good haircut early in the year . . . but first I've got to get this lot dug out and moved to a new home. That is easier said than done :}

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  5. I always mean to chop back early on when things when they have flowered but always hate the look of them till they grow again!

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