Thursday, June 7, 2012

Geranium Anne Thompson

View of South Terrace
     On the south and west sides of my house are large terraces which are comprised of pink gravel and concrete pavers. These were put in place when the hard surfaces of the garden were constructed almost 20 years ago. We had a local landscape architect, Bart Berg, do this work. The pink gravel is crushed marble from eastern Washington. The view above is of the terrace as it runs along the south side of our house, so this area is pretty much in full sun, except for any shade cast by the plantings in the bed to the right.
     There is a long and narrow bed which runs alongside this terrace--it is only 2 or 3 feet wide (I am not good at judging the exact measurements of a space). Long and narrow beds always pose a design challenge.  The usual advice is to plant them with only one kind of plant and that is pretty much what I have done here. When I first planted this bed many years ago, I used Verbena Homestead Purple which makes a great drought tolerant low lying pool of purple and I liked it here quite a bit. The only problem with it was that it is not reliably hardy in our climate, so I had to replant it every year.
     Then one year I had a lot of Myosotidium seedlings, so I planted the entire border with  Chatham Island forget-me-nots. That would have been quite the extravaganza if it had ever taken off, but unfortunately there is something about this bed that myosotidiums do not like (prima donnas that they are). All but one have since died out.
     I had grown geranium Anne Thompson in another part of my garden for almost the entire time my garden has been in existence. Anne Thompson is like its more well known sister Anne Folkard in that it has chartreuse foliage and magenta flowers but unlike Anne Folkard, it grows in a neat mound instead of weaving and traveling everywhere. It has proven to be a long lived and great performing plant--it blooms almost all summer. Furthermore, the plants which I had in the other part of my garden were being invaded by bindweed and the only way to get rid of that obnoxious weed which was intertwined through the roots of the geranium, was to dig up the geranium and bare root it and take all the bindweed roots out. So I did this to two of these geraniums, and in the process, divided them and replanted the divisions where you see them in the picture. Thus, all the plants in this border (there are at least 30), are divisions from two established clumps.
     I do not commonly see Anne Thompson in nurseries--it's sister, Anne Folkard is much more commonly available. But I noticed that Plant Delights carries it and extolls its virtues over Anne Folkard.

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