I simply love geraniums but it’s a rather new adoration for me. My early memories of geraniums date back to relatives’ porches and upon graves in cemeteries. As a young girl they didn’t impress me that much. As an adult I was reintroduced to them by my husband’s former employer, Mrs. Geneen. She had Tom plant several box planters on her deck. Patriotic red geraniums were boldly the focal point of each beautiful arrangement. There was a staunch beauty in those geraniums…and so my adoration of them was born.
Last year Tom built me window boxes and we planted Mrs. G’s flower mix as a tribute to her. The familiar flower mix brought us back to the summer days she and her family visited the farm. They looked amazing and grew even better than we expected. Vibrant colors of dark purples, rich patriotic reds and pure white flowers greeted everyone passing by. We planted two geraniums, two petunias, two white bicopas and a gorgeous spike in the middle to balance it out.
Geraniums are hearty and easy to grow. They are far from fragile and thrive whether the weather is rainy or hot. They withstand heat pretty well and don’t need to be watered as often as most flowers. In our old house, it was pretty impossible to hang petunias or any other flowers in our back yard. With no trees or forgiving shade, planters cooked in a matter of weeks and never survived the entire summer season. Not willing to give up, I resorted to geraniums in pots! Tom said they were strong and seemed to be heat resistant and so I decided to give it a go. He was right…the deep red flowers did well in the heat and made it to September.
Yesterday I visited the nursery at Sullivan’s Greenhouse in Lancaster, NH, where I bumped into Landaff neighbors Stephen and Annette. While flower and plant browsing, I noticed geraniums come in a variety of colors now. There were bright red with a flashy eye popping hue and dark red, which I prefer. The dark red reminded me of the patriotic red flowers I picked up last year and was close enough in color for me to snatch them. Other colors were pink and coral with an pinkish tone. They even had pink and white striped variegated geraniums for a different color scheme ( maybe someday I may try these to go for a new theme).
As this lovely and tranquil Sunday morn awoke from it’s nightly nap, I waited for my husband to return from early day chores. We ventured out and shopped for Miracle Grow soil, cedar chips and cow manure for our gardens. The day warmed up nicely in the 70’s with a blazing sun cooking us as we gardened. First we visited Tom’s dad grave in our little town cemetery. We were content to plant red geraniums on each side and a spike plant in the middle. After saying a prayer and us being silent for a minute, Tom and I left our new flowers with his dad.
It took us just a few minutes to screw the boxes on and fill with the soil. From then on, I took my time planting my flowers and soaking up the beautiful and healing sun. A faint lilac scent from my nearby tree almost put me in a trance. By day’s end the window boxes were planted and watered, as I breathed a sigh of contentment.
How great gardening is, especially after a 8 month hiatus! The time in between is a quiet period of reflection, dreaming and hoping for the sweet spring days to arrive. As I grow older in mid-age, I cherish these moments more than I did in my 30’s. Gardening is a healing practice for the soul, the mind, and the body. It’s a hobby that does me more than good and I never want to live without it.
How is your planting going? Do you have geraniums as well? Do you plant window boxes? I do hope you are enjoying your planting season and soaking up that wonderful sun!
All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤