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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Covering Ground with Geraniums June 7, 2014

Weeding being a big issue here on 2 semi-wild acres, hence the name of my blog, my greatest allies have been ground covers and plants that reseed or spread well and choke out the weeds.  One of my biggest successes has been hardy geraniums, which are starting to bloom now.

Today I am linking with-

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma and Mystical Magical Teacher

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

I'd Rather B Birdin' hosted by Hootin' Anni

Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart M

We were off this weekend on a camping trip with our grown children and grandkids to Cape Lookout State park in Oregon.

A swallow was nesting on top of a light fixture at one of the bathrooms.   "Can't a girl sit on her nest in peace?"

And Dad was chilling nearby, "I've got this."

I would have to say Geranium oxonianum 'Claridge Druce' has been my greatest star, spreading by seeding, always looking fresh and neat, and blooming from late spring to fall.




Another lovely plant that spreads from seed is Geranium sanguineum, which I have in three colors, magenta, deep purple, and light pink (Max Frei, John Elsley, and Striatum).  It has very delicate incised foliage and makes lovely clumps that look like bouquets when blooming.




Here is a mix from my front banner bed, with some purples that may be G. magnificum-

A wonderful ground cover for dry shade under trees, that is evergreen but with a very short bloom season so not important as a flower, is Geranium macrorrhizum, with scented foliage reminescent of pine.  It spreads incredibly by rhizomes, this is all from one plant over 16 years.   The taller one, lighter pink, is another geranium.


A delicate spreader that is great for a small area is Geranium cantabrigiense 'Karmina', it grows in some difficult areas, and has been long-lasting in my garden, with tiny leaves as well-

One that spreads very slowly but has begun to form some nice clumps, and has shiny delicate foliage, is Geranium nodosum-


A geranium I grew from seed, Geranium pratense 'Splish Splash', has spread from seed and reverted to a blue-purple color, it grows to a greater height than most, nearly 3' / 1m, and is impressive when blooming for a short time in late spring to summer-


One that hasn't spread but starts out as a lovely clump then trails out to several feet and has delightful violet flowers with a sheen that cameras don't seem to be able to capture, is Geranium 'Ann Folkard', here in its spring yellow-green delightful foliage-

I have a long list of geraniums that are no longer with me as well, some were sensational, like G. incanum with silvery foliage, while they lasted, but for some reason they disasppeared.  But the ones that do well make up for the ones that don't.  

What plants or geraniums have made good ground covers for you?

Hannah

Like the swallow on the nest, we all need a defender.




Peter reminded me of this song mentioning swallows so I added it too-


©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.   I enjoy reading your comments, and will visit your blog and comment as well, if possible.

48 comments:

  1. Adore the views of those little swallows and your flowers are so pretty.

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    1. Thanks, Gemma, I saw the swallows flitting over the waves and didn't think I could get a photograph of them.

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  2. The swallows are adorable. I love the patterns on the petals of the geraniums. Have a great week, Hannah!

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    1. Thanks, Gunilla, I enjoy the geraniums so much. I was thinking at the beach today what would happen if people brought their goats to play in the surf like dogs.

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  3. Hello Hannah, I love the sweet swallows. Pretty geraniums, your flowers are all lovely. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy day!

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    1. Thanks, Eileen, it was a treat to see the swallows. It looks like she uses sea gull feathers to line her nest.;-)

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  4. Lovely birds!
    Beautiful flowers!
    Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Thanks, Lea, it's 90ºF today so not that pleasant for working outside, but I'm behind with the weeds so out there slugging it out. But it was a nice very cool camping trip.

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  5. it's interesting how your Barn Swallows are redder underneath than our UK Barn Swallows. Same species, just a geographical variation.

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    1. Thanks, Phil, that is interesting. Your lapwings were fascinating.

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  6. Wonderful pictures, how lucky to have swallows nesting.

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    1. Thanks, Nicola, that was at the beach. They used to nest in our woodshed but maybe the cat turned them off. I tried to comment on your blog but it only did google +, no guests, so I will say here that your snail looked so cool and refreshed in the little water dish, and I love the spiral in the shell.

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  7. Wow, a geranium for dry shade; I've just the spot! Your swallow pictures are very sweet!

    Even the sparrow has found a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may have her young—
    Psalm 84:3

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    1. Thanks, Peter, that's one of my favorite church solos from my childhood. That's a great ground cover geranium.

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  8. lovely blooms! i love swallows, too.

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    1. Thanks, Theresa, Swallows on the wing are so graceful, they were flying over the waves, and I always imagine them as guardians of the sky, ridding the world of nasty flying insects.

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  9. the swallows are so pretty. lovely geraniums.

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    1. I love the salmony color of the swallow's chests. I like your gorgeous shots of the wild red columbines, with the dreamy backgrounds, I hope mine bloom this year.

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  10. I really do need to learn to appreciate geraniums more. Weed smothering is exactly what I need. Geranium macrorrhizum would be a good one for me. Less sure about the reseeding ones, but I'm learning to love other plants that reseed. I have two geraniums in my garden: Geranium pratense 'Dark Reiter' still going strong despite reports of it disappearing on other people, and Geranium robustum. I need to do a report on that robustum at some point. It's the only plant of the 2 or 3 that I grew from seed last year, along with 3 Geranium pulchrum, that survived winter. It's a nice shiny silver green.

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    1. Thanks, Evan, the G. robustum sounds interesting, I love silvery foliage. Incanum was a dream, and spread out a lot, but mysteriously disappeared. Very sad. Win a few, lose a few.

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  11. Do your swallows come to the same nest each year? I missed leaving a comment on your beautiful display of geraniums, love those pale mauve flowers. Eyes, I have new distance glasses, lovely frames, slightly larger, and our superb optometrist said I need to wear a hat at all times outside, as with cataracts, the bright lights are not good. I have found I do not like even the bars on a radiant heater a friend has. And I do not drive at night now. And like you, no more goodbyes, and many hellos, I believe in that too. Hugs, for your lovely words.

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    1. The swallows were at the beach, I hope they are doing well hatching babies. I'm trying to wear UV glasses more, I just got some with reading glass bifocals but they take a little getting used to but feel better than sunglasses over my reading glasses.

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    2. It's sad losing someone, sometimes it's just time and space, there are many people from my past I miss so look forward to a reunion someday.

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  12. Love the Swallows in the summer.

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  13. Thanks, Adam, they weren't the birds I was expecting to see at the beach, but welcome.

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  14. Love the swallow shots adnyour flowers re lovely as well

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    1. Thanks, Margaret, I enjoyed your abundant shorebirds, I'm envious since they were practically non-existent at the beach where we went last weekend.

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  15. Oh, I especially like those sweet swallow shots. Beautiful flowers too.

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  16. Oh, I especially like those sweet swallow shots. Beautiful flowers too.

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    1. Thanks, I felt sorry for the poor swallows being on the bathroom so people (including me) were giving them unwelcome notice. My grandkids told me they were there. Hopefully everyone kept their distance. I'm enjoying the flowers, some of the geraniums will keep blooming most of summer.

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  17. I had swallows staying at my car porch before.
    They are cute.

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    1. Thanks, Rainfield, we used to have some in our woodshed over where we parked our riding mower. You can imagine that they dropped quite a bit of "mushroom food" on its tarp. But they are adorable.

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    1. Thanks, Sharon, it is our rainy season, which could last into July, so lots of green now. The weeds appreciate it very much too.

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  19. Lovely series Hannah, from the baby bird and papa to the gorgeous geranium blossoms! Thanks for sharing the love up-close with I Heart Macro ♥

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    1. Thanks, Laura, the seasons have really progressed fast this year, and now we have had a couple of 90ºF / 32ºC days which does not portend well for the temperatures here this summer. But things cooled off for now.;-) Thanks for hosting.

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  20. The swallows are just SOOO sweet! And I love your beautiful, delicate flowers. Your garden is always such a joy to see.

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    1. Thanks, Marie, I was fortunate to get a shot at almost sundown. I'm enjoying the geraniums, they are so dependable.

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  21. Dearest Hannah; Swallows always reminds me of their nest at my grandparents' old house (mother's side) and enjoyed seeing them♪
    Oh My! I was surprised to see your varieties of Geranium (haha, no much knowledge about flowers) which are really different from I have seen here♡♡♡ Very beautiful, Dear friend♪
    PS; Thank you so much for your kind comment teaching me the names of the flowers in my collage. I only knew the hydrogen p:-)
    Have a WONDERFUL camping trip with your love ones♡♡♡
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend in America.

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    1. Thanks, dearest Miyako, I enjoy your Japanese gardens and flowers too. Hugs from the PNW!

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  22. Lovin' the swallow images.
    And your flower photos as well....this far south where I live, it's unusual to see anything of the 'cool' colors in blossoms like purple and blue, so this was a special treat.

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    1. Thanks, Anni, you get to see so many wonderful birds, but the flowers are definitely different. I miss the Canna lilies and the Lantana.

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  23. Your Geraniums are wonderful Hannah! Also your little swallows :) They remind me at my childhood...we lived below the roof and swallows have built their nests unter the gutter every year...
    Happy weekend!!!
    Katrin:)

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    1. Thanks, Katrin, the swallows were so cute. I'm glad to have found the geraniums since they make gardening so much easier for me.

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  24. Looks like swallows will nest anywhere.

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    1. It's funny that they like rather conspicuous places with lots of traffic for the nest. And a manmade place, too.

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  25. I love cranesbill geraniums too! Wonderful ground covers!

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  26. Great shots of the swallows - will you be posting updates through out the summer?

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne (for a few days!)

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