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Wednesday, November 3, 2010


My grandmother on my father's side loved pink, baking, and annual geraniums. Her patio at the rear (but street side) of the cottage at Bay View, a Victorian summer community in northern Michigan, had pink geraniums. To me, they are happy flowers - old fashioned and bright. My gardening has also focused on vegetables and perennials. Few annuals make it into my plantings. But I have always had geraniums somewhere - annual as well as perennial.

Before I was married, I had an apartment with a front deck that I lined with a series of window boxes filled with pink geraniums, dusty miller, and trailing blue lobelia. I added trees in pots, and enjoyed the deck a lot.
After buying our present home nearly 18 years ago, we immediately tilled a large vegetable gardens - and soon after I added three planters, the only ones amid the raised beds, and planted red geraniums.

One reason I don't use annuals much is that I have limited funds, so I rather have plants that will come back year after year. So the perfect annuals for me are geraniums, because you can just pull them up at the end of the season, brush the dirt off the roots, and put them in a dry box or paper bag and leave them there all winter! This is seems absolutely impossible.

I took up my large pot of red geraniums to avoid the frost earlier this week. They were big and vigorous, and still blooming. I felt like a killer. It didn't feel right. But I did it because I knew it was this or death by cold. I placed them in a box - albeit one too small, so it has to be replaced - and out them in the garage. This is the third or fourth year for these 3 plants (every few years I forget to take them up and therefore lose them, which is why they are not 17 years old), so I know they will be alright.

Next spring, I will clip them back and plant them - and they will bloom again. I'm sure my Gram would be pleased.

   Copyright 2010,

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