At our old house, wild geraniums (Geranium maculatum) grew every place the lawn mower left alone. Or at least it seemed that way.It was always a pleasure to see them carpeting the woods in mid-May, but I certainly didn’t check daily on their progress, as I did with my carefully collected and cultivated trilliums. Then we moved.
Here, at the new place, Jack-in-the-pulpits seem to spring up everywhere! I could never get them to grow in the woods at the old place, though they did grow in the garden. But–you guessed it–no wild geraniums anywhere! How can this be? They are so easy, so common, and I even see them growing in the ditch further down the road. I decided to remedy this situation. Recently I went back to the old place (which we still own) and dug a clump. I divided that one clump into bits. The roots are rhizome-like and it is fairly easy to make divisions. I planted them in several semi-shaded moist areas in our woods. Hopefully at least some of them will “take.”
I suppose because they were so common at our former home I never tried to grow them in my garden beds. I did buy a white-flowered form at some point but it dwindled away and died on me. Last year a gardening friend gave me a start of ‘Espresso,’ which is a dark-leaved selection. That, I am happy to report, is doing well. Previous to that, I was sold a plant labeled ‘Espresso’ but it bloomed with blue flowers, not pink. I suspect it is Geranium pratense ‘Midnight Reiter’ but I have seen that described as a dwarf and what I have seems to be a typical geranium size.
I suspect this plant would be happy any place hostas are happy. Around here, wild geranium blooms before the hostas are fully up, so it would add interest and a bit of color before the hostas hit their stride. Good luck finding the common form for sale, however. You’ll probably have to search out a nursery that specializes in native plants.
Posted for Wildflower Wednesday, created by Gail of Clay and Limestone, to share wildflowers/native plants no matter where you garden in the blogasphere. “It doesn’t matter if we sometimes show the same plants. How they grow and thrive in your garden is what matters most. It’s always the fourth Wednesday of the month!”