Monday, June 17, 2013

Scented Geranium Blooms


Scented geraniums have started blooming out on my patio. Even if the scented leaves of these plants are the reason we grow them, I like the pretty markings (and the edibility) of the small flowers, too.

Rose, lemon and nutmeg are my favorite geraniums for scent, even though I don't think any of them smell much like their names suggest. The big, fuzzy-leaved peppermint geranium is a velvety delight to the touch, and does smell like it's name—sinus-clearing and sharp as an Altoid mint.

I've planted scented geraniums in the ground for many years, but this year decided to keep them in pots so I can bring them inside next fall and, hopefully, avoid having to buy new ones next spring. I've never had one survive the winter outside, even though they are perennial in zones a little warmer than mine in North Carolina.

I tried keeping them on the windowsill for the winter a time or two years ago, but I wasn't fond of the leggy, brown-leaved look they got inside. This time I'll be a little more ruthless about pruning. And keep them cooler. And water them less. Maybe I'll root some cuttings, too, which should look a little better. The gardener is both a scientist and an artist, right? A green thumb takes practice.

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