Pelargonium species with elegant white flowers

Pelargonium odoratissimum-apple scented leaf

The classical and elegant white flowers of the pelargonium species can look just as stunning in the garden as the other colour varieties especially when grown together to add colour and fragrance. They can also stand out against the green leaves of various shades, textures & shapes.
Pelargonium odoratissimum is especially a lovely low growing plant, not only because of its delightful white flowers with tiny purple blotches on the upper petals but also for its strong apple-scented rounded velvety crinkled leaves which grow well in medium-sized pots. It is similar to the Pelargonium album which means ‘white flowers’ in Latin to which the leaf stems are semi-succulent like that of P. odoratissimum although the leaves have a more minty apple fragrance. They grow well in shady mixed with other plants in a border. View on website

Pelargonium tomentosum-mint scented leaf

Pelargonium tomentosum has attractive clusters of small white flowers with bright purple markings on the upper petals arranged on long flower stalks, the leaves have a soft velvety texture with a peppermint fragrance, they grow well as ground cover, in pots or planted in the garden but prefer shade in hot climates. It is native to the Western Cape and the leaves can be used in baking. Pictured left

Pelargonium grandifolium pictured below has attractive large creamy white flowers with dark reddish markings on the upper petals and bluish green digitate leaves with a waxy texture. It is a slightly woody shrub native to South Western and Western Cape which is ideal as a border plant in a rock garden or grown in a pot. The name grandifolium means ‘large flower’ and was brought to Kew Gardens in the late 1700s by Francis Masson during his travels to South Africa. Pictured below right.

Pelargonium grandifolium

Pelargonium abrotanifolium has small dainty white flowers and purple markings on the upper petals with lovely feathery deeply divided greyish-green leaves which are aromatic. It is native to a large area of the Western Cape towards the Eastern Cape, of South Africa. This plants name is derived from the Latin meaning ‘Southern-wood leaves’ which refers to its likeness to the leaves of Artemisia abrotanum, a shrub, also connected to the Greek goddess Artemis the goddess of the hunt. Ideal growing with other low growing plants in the garden or in a medium-sized pot, pictured below.

Pelargonium abrotanifolium
Pelargonium scabrum-lemon scented leaf

Pelargonium scabrum has white or pink flowers with purple markings on the upper petals. A pretty pelargonium with lemon scented rhomboidal rough leaves. The name ‘scabrum’ is derived from the Latin meaning having a raised texture. It is native to the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape. Ideal for pots, fragrant gardens, rock gardens and succulent gardens. pictured below

view on website

Pelargonium mollicomum is a graceful plant with creamy white flowers and thin purple lines on the upper petals. This plant has a slightly exotic appearance with pineapple scented light green leaves, its name is derived from the Latin meaning soft hairs. It is native to the Eastern Cape and is ideal for fragrant gardens, window boxes, pots or hanging baskets. Pictured below, view on website

Pelargonium mollicomum-pineapple scented leaf

The flowers of Pelargonium peltatum are very attractive and can range in colour from white, pale pink to pale purple. The leaves are slightly succulent, rounded and fleshy with a light fragrance, resembling an ivy leaf. It is a trailing plant native to the Eastern and Western cape of South Africa which is ideal for hanging baskets, pots and planted next to other shrubs or trees, the leaves and petals have medical properties. pictured below

Pelargonium exstpulatum is a charming pelargonium with white flowers and dark reddish markings, the two upper petals are joined together and the lower is shaped like a spoon. The leaves have a sweet/spicy scent which are rhomboid and grey-green in colour. It is native to South Africa in the Southern Cape, in areas of the Klein Karoo and the Little Karoo. Ideal for pots or rock gardens in dry environments. pictured below

For more information on the Pelargonium species please visit our website at pelargonium species world

Pelargonium exstipulatum

Greek Style salad with Pelargonium graveolens,cherry tomatoes & feta cheese

This healthy & spicy salad filled with cos lettuce, cherry tomatoes, black olives, feta, pelargonium graveolens leaves and herbs make
a refreshing side dish to enjoy with your meal,
The sweetness of the cherry tomatoes, aromatic flavour of the herbs, as well as the tangy fruity taste of the feta and black olives
creates a beneficial & nutritious dish filled with delicious
vegetables and greens.

Ingredients 4 servings


125g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cos lettuce, leaves removed and ripped into small pieces
I red onion cut into small wedges
3-4 leaves of pelargonium graveolens, finely chopped
Finely chopped herbs- basil, oregano and mint
Salt and pepper to taste
80g Black olives
12g chopped Walnuts or pine nuts
180g of feta cheese, cut into small cubes
A sprinkle of red wine vinegar
80g of olive oil
1 cucumber, cut into thin slices and cut in half
Tinned Anchovies in olive oil optional

To prepare
First remove the lettuce leaves and wash them thoroughly, drying them well with kitchen roll. Then rip the leaves and arrange them on a salad dish.

Add the cherry tomatoes, black olives and cucumber, then blend the ingredients together with your hands or with salad tongs, sprinkle over the herbs and pelargonium leaves
making sure all the mixture is well blended.

Cut the feta into small cubes and place them around the dish,
sprinkle with oregano followed by red wine vinegar and olive
oil.

You can also choose to add a few leaves of batavia lettuce,
beetroot, green peppers or mix with pasta.

The Pelargonium blandfordianum hybrid and its related cultivars

pelargonium blandfordianum

Pelargonium blandfordianum is a lovely pelargonium with deeply incised grayish leaves which are fragrant with a scent of rose and white flowers with reddish blotches on the under petals.
It is believed to be a hybrid between P. radula and P. quinquevulnereum. There are a few variations of this plant, ‘album’ refers to the white flowered form and ‘roseum’ to the rose pink flowered form
which has a distinct rosy wormwood fragrance on the leaves.

This hybrid was developed during the early 1800s, introduced by George Spencer Churchill the Marquis of Blandford to which this plant derives its name. George Spencer was a keen and accomplished botanist while he resided at White knights park estate, a medieval manor which is now part of the university of Reading (white knights campus).
Here he became widely known for has large collection of rare and exotic plants from around the globe. Various species were also transported there from the royal gardens by order of the king. George took out a loan to expand and enhance his new estate, creating many new features, such as the ‘Chantilly garden’ which contained several conservatories possibly for tropical plants, a vineyard, bridges, a wide variety of trees, a botanical garden with a wide selection of unique plants, many from America, a wilderness and many seats, fountains, grotto’s and pavilions. Later the gardens fell into decline after George Spencer became bankrupt and his creditors set fire to his house in rage, the rest of the estate was sold off. But remains of the gardens was again found after the world wars.

photo by James Eggleton-unsplash.com

Pelargonium radula is a parent of the hybrid Pelargonium blandfordianum, it has decorative deeply incised leaves with a lemony rose fragrance and small pale pink flowers with dark purple markings on the upper petals. It has similar characteristics to P. graveolens which is closely related and possibly an equivalent to P. radens or a clone and also has a few forms with varied flower colours. The other parent is
Pelargonium quinquevulnereum

which was also believed to have been a hybrid, grown by Mr Armstrong who lived in Hampshire, that shares some similarities to Pelargonium graveolens.

Pelargonium radens is a tall upright shrub with delicate grey green finely divided leaves and light purple flowers with darker markings on the upper petals. The fragrance of the leaves are rose lemon scented and grows well in medium to large pots often growing beside other Plants.
Pelargonium graveolens has soft velvety triangular deeply incised leaves which have a somewhat rosy mint scent, a well known pelargonium since the 17th century in food and beverages, tea, potpourri and perfume.
Other hybrids related to Pelargonium radens or Pelargonium graveolens is P. ‘citrosum’ which has strong citronella lemon fragrance with pale pink flowers also known as the mosquito plant which is popular in the United States & Canada and is a cultivar of P. graveolens, also said to help deter mosquitoes.

P. ‘lady plymouth’ is a hybrid from the species
P. ‘graveolens’ with silver & cream leaves which
are variegated with a minty scent and light
purple flowers, there is also a similar cultivar
known as P ‘grey lady plymouth‘ with has grey
green leaves.
P. ‘Cinnamon rose’ has spicy cinnamon
scented leaves, and an upright growth with short
branches and pale purple flowers.
P. ‘Secret love’ is a eucalyptus scented leaf
pelargonium with light pink flowers showing
some characteristics to P. capitaum.
P. x melissinum is a cross between P. crispum
and P. graveolens which has large lemon balm
scented deeply cut leaves and pink flowers.

P. ‘rosemint’ has mint rose scented
leaves which are variegated and is used in
perfumes, showing some similarities to P.
lady plymouth.
P. ‘westerlund’ rose lemon scented leaf
close resembling that of P. graveolens.

Latest Pelargonium species & fresh seeds

Pelargonium  graveolens L’Her
Rose geranium
A beautiful pelargonium  which is  believed to be a cross between graveolens x radens and is often used for rose oil in perfume, soap and also toothpaste. It has pale pink  flowers with thin purple lines on the upper petals & each flowering stalk has about 1-7 flowers.  P. Graveolens L’ Her is an up right shrub with a spreading growth often trailing along the ground and up walls to reach towards the light  and prefers slightly sandy soil conditions in semi shade. It is ideal for fragrant gardens, rock gardens,or pots.

Pelargonium  ranunculophyllum
Horse shoe zoned pelargonium   
A lovely graceful pelargonium which has attractive rounded palmately lobed leaves with a reddish to deep purple zone (horse shoe mark) in the centre. The flowers are  narrow and white to pink sometimes with reddish  markings on the upper petals and pale orange to yellow pollen,  they are arranged on  long upright flowering stalks which  contains about 2-3 flowers. P. ranunculophyllum  is a low growing  plant  with long delicate stems   and  is smaller in size than P. alchemilloides  which has similar characteristics and with thinner stems.  It is native to the Eastern Cape where it grows in rocky sandstone or on mountainsides over 1000 m,  best grown in part shade in pots or planted in the garden and also combined with other plants.

Pelargonium  littorale
Pelargonium littorale Huegel
A graceful pelargonium with delicate pinkish stems and pale pink flowers  with dark purple markings on the upper petals & each flowering stalk contains 2-7 flowers. P. littorale is an upright low growing shrub which grows to about 10 – 50 cm in height and has heart shaped leaves. It is native to South West Australia  where it grows in coastal areas from the South Eastern corner to Geraldton in the North.  The name Littorale is derived from the Latin word ‘Littorlis” meaning shore (or grows close to the shore or littoral waters. Best planted in a small to medium sized pot or planted in the garden which is partly shaded by taller plants or rock garden.

New fresh seeds of Pelargonium mollicomum, pineapple scented leaf.
An attractive & graceful pelargonium with a slightly exotic appearance, it has creamy white flowers with thin purple lines on the upper petals & each flowering stalk has about 1-5 flowers. The light green rounded leaves are pineapple scented with a dark zone in the centre.  P. Mollicomum is a low growing shrub which reaches to about 50 cm/20 inches in height and prefers slightly sandy soil conditions. The name “mollicomum” is derived from the Latin word meaning soft hairs. It is ideal for fragrant gardens, window boxes,hanging baskets or pots.

New fresh seeds Pelargonium scabrum
A pretty pelargonium with strong lemon scented rhomboidal shaped leaves and white flowers.

View https://www.pelargoniumspeciesworld.com/page33.html

New fresh seeds P. hispidum – balsam
New fresh seeds P. odoratissmum-apple
New fresh seeds P. grossularioides- fruit
New fresh seeds P. Betulinum

View website : www.pelargoniumspeciesworld.com

Beautiful species pelargoniums native to Australia

Pelargonium littorale (left) is a low growing upright and delicate shrub which is similar to that of Pelargonium capitatum rose scented leaf and pelargonium grossularioides fruit scented leaf..
The flowers are pale pink with darker markers and each flowering stalk contains 2- 7 flowers with long and ovate sepals, the leaves can range from  oval, heart shaped, or orbicular.
P. littorale grows from about  10 to 50 cm’s in height and is covered with  glandular hairs, green to pinkish stems, classified under the section Peristera, as a subspecies (pelargonium littorale- Huegel subsp. Littorale)

This plant is native to South West Australia mostly in coastal areas from the South Eastern corner to the Geraldton sand plains in the north.. Which is why it was named Littorale from the Latin word ‘littoralis’ meaning shore (or grows close to the shore or littoral waters) It can also occur in Victoria and areas of South Australia.
South Western Australia is a eco zone with a Mediterranean like climate which has dry and hot summers and wet winters know as the botanical province which consists of a wide range of plant and animal life as well as woodlands, forests and eco areas of scrub land. This region also has honey possums which forage on flowering shrubs for nectar and pollen. Western bush wallabies and short tailed scrub wallabies.

Pelargonium helmsii (carolin) also known as the Alpine storks bill is native to bio-regions of victoria and New South Wales in mountainous areas including – Northern fall (highlands), Victorian alps and the snowy mountains, it has dark pink flowers with darker markings and oblong sepals with each flowering stalk containing up to 5-12 flowers. It is listed as vulnerable.
Pelargonium renifolium Swinbourne is also native to South Australia and has very small light pink flowers and a greater sprawling growth.

Pelargonium rodneyanum (below) also called the Magenta storks bill is native to specific areas of Australia including New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Where is grows on rocky hillsides, sclerophyll forests, woodlands and shrub land.  It has striking dark pink flowers with darker pink markings of the upper petals, on a long delicate flower stalk which contains up to seven flowers. The leaves are soft, light to dark green with shallow lobes and oval to narrow ovate in shape, it grows to about 45 cm’s in height with short stems and also produces brown tuberous roots.

This plant was named after Admiral George Rodney 1718-1792, a British Naval officer, who travelled along with Captain James Cook as head scientist exploring New Zealand and Australia collecting plant specimens for  the gardens of Kew.
Pelargonium rodneyanum is also grown as a garden plant in pots, flower beds or rock gardens because of its colourful flowers. It grows well in slightly acidic soil which has good drainage and is also a popular plant for ground cover.

Pelargonium alchemilloides (below) also known as the lady’s mantle-leaved pelargonium or Wildemaliva is native to a wide area of South Africa apart from the Northern Cape and grows in moist lowland regions usually in clay and loam soil conditions. It  has also been naturalised in temperate coastal areas of South-Western, Western Australia where it grows in shrublands, grasslands and woodlands. This plant has a rambling growth and is low growing, it adapts well to hot and dry environments with much rainfall during the winter period and has an underground tuber.

The flowers can range in colour from dark pink, yellow or white with darker markings and each flowering stalk contains about 3 to 6 flowers. The leaves are rounded or oval in shape with a purplish brown horseshoe zone in the centre, lobed with hairs which gives the impression of a silky texture.
The name alchemilloides refers to the plant Alchemilla (lady’s mantle) which bears some resemblance to this pelargonium, it is a perennial with green to yellow flowers and fan shaped leaves under the Rosaceae family to which the tea is used for medicinal purposes.

Pelargonium australe (below) is endemic to the whole of Australia apart from the Northern territory as well as eastern Tasmania and New Zealand, where it is also known by the name of the native storks bill.. It has white to light pink flowers and darker markings on the upper petals, arranged on long flower stalks which contains up to 12 flowers.

The leaves are slightly scented, hairy & rounded/ or oval with shallow lobes and the plant as a whole grows to about 30 cm’s in height, in its native habitat it grows in rocky areas, on cliffs by the coast, or in sand dunes.
The name australe means Southern possibly meaning the southern hemisphere. The stems of this plant are not so succulent like than that of P.drummondii, while the leaves, also show some similarities to P. capitatum but do not have rose scented leaves.

Pelargonium drummondii (below) shares some similarities to Pelargonium australe, but the stems are more branching with smaller flowers and thinner stems and also P. capitatum which grows all over the South West of Australia was original brought over by early colonists from Britain.

It is an upright shrub which grows to about 10 to 40 cm’s in height with succulent like leaves which are dark green & heart shaped. The flowers are white or pale pink  usually with  darker markings and each flowing stalk contains about 4 to 7 flowers.
It is native to coastal areas of South West Australia and also amongst granitic rocks on sloping ground, hills or small mountains.
This plant was given the name drummondii after James Drummond a Scottish gardener and botanist who became an early setter and collector of  newly discovered plants in Australia.

Pelargonium inodorum (below) which also goes by the name of the wild pelargonium or storks bill is an annual which is native to over a large area of  New South Wales where it grows in forests, woodlands, or grassy and rocky areas and also in Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand.

The flowers are white or pink with darker markings of dark pink or purple and each flowering stalk contains about 3-14 flowers with oval or heart shaped leaves that are covered in short hairs. The flowers are small and are just a little larger in size than the sepals.
The name inodorum means unscented possibly referring to the flowers as it is believed to have slightly aromatic leaves.

PELARGONIUM OF THE MONTH-PELARGONIUM FRUTETORUM

Pelargonium Frutetorum has lovely light salmon pink flowers consisting of three large lower petals (ovate) that bend downwards and two upper petals with reddish orange markings on 10-15 mm flower stalks, containing 7 stamens. The  leaves have a circular deep purplish brown zone in the centre with five lobes and rounded. This plant is a shrubby scrambling species that  is native to the Eastern Cape, South Africa and was given its name Frutetorum because of its shrub like appearance, it is of the Ciconium section and is believed to have been first discovered by the English naturalist & artist William John Burchell during his travels to South Africa in the 1800s but this is not certain. Many hybrids have been created from this plant because of its appealing flowers, decorative leaves and its ability to grow well in the shade. P. Frutetorum shows some likeness to  P. mutlibracteatum but is more sturdy and has more a pronounced zone on the leaves

The Season of Autumn/ Fall

Image by Johannes Plenio-unsplash.com

The Autumn season can be both pleasing & at times a little dismal with the brightly coloured leaves of the fall which adds colour to the surroundings, the harvest of fruits, vegetables and grains, the cutting back of plants and seed germination but also the thought that we are again getting closer to winter when daylight becomes shorter and the temperature gradually gets cooler.
The seasonal name Autumn originates from the Latin word ‘Autumns’ and in Greece it is a time for harvesting grapes & olives with the making of wine & olive oil and also picking pomegranates which is made into a liqueur. The arrival of the robin is also a symbolic to Autumn which stays throughout the winter and also very tiny lizards which hatch out from their eggs and hide under leaves and foliage. Also lovely Autumn bulbs which are native to Greece flower in September and October include snow drops (Galanthus), lilies (candidum and Chaledonieum) candidum autumnale, Crocus (iridaceae) and Narcissus serotimus.

Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, fruits and grains, also known as the goddess of the earth bringing grain and cereals to mankind after the harvest. Her daughter Persephone is kidnapped by Hades and is taken to the underworld resulting in the delay of the seasons, causing the destruction of plants and animals on earth. Hermes goes down to the underworld to return her to earth but does not know that she has eaten some pomegranate seeds and when she reaches the surface she reunites with her mother Demeter and has been destined to return to the underworld at specific times of the year, a time of Autumn and winter.
Now that Autumn has arrived you may need to think about pruning, cutting and dividing perennials, things that need to be completed before the frost ( in cooler countries) planting bulbs and clearing fallen leaves.
When pruning deciduous trees it is advisable to wait until October or November when the leaves have fallen and you can see the branches more easily ,it also gives the tree time to repair its self before winter, this period is also a great time to cut back any hardy shrubs in your garden. Another task for Autumn is to plant bulbs so that they have a cold period before they start to come up in Spring, whether you choose to plant them in a container or in the ground it is best planted in well drained soil around 18 c, so that the bulbs wont rot over the winter months with a good light source.

Tulips, Allium, Anemone, Crocus, Cyclamen, Daffodil, Iris, Hyacinth, Snow drops, Narcissus and Crocus are beautiful plants that are grown from bulbs.
Sowing seed in Autumn is great for germination of some plant types, with others the seeds will fall or are dispersed by birds onto the ground and after a cold period will germinate in Spring. But in cooler countries there maybe a problem with frost after germination when growing outdoors. Although seeds of Sweet peas, cornflower, flax, marigold, queen Anne’s lace,poppies, California poppies, antirrhinum, dill, Cynoglossum, Lupinus, viola, primula and foxglove are ideal for growing from seed in Autumn, but may need to be grown undercover as seedlings, until they are old enough to be planted outdoors if there is not enough warmth.

Autumn is also an excellent opportunity to remove any plant debris in containers or in the garden to remove diseases, bacteria, fungi and unwanted insects as you come into the winter period. Old blooms, flower stalks and dead leaves can be removed which can also make it easier for the plant to produce new grow in Spring. Cleaning surface areas for plants germination and underneath pots can also help to prevent diseases and insects.
Some varieties of pelargoniums flower in Autumn such as P. abrotanifolium, P. mollicomum, P. graveolens and P. ionidiflorum which are still flowering in October here in Crete, although some low growing species are dormant during the summer and then after the rains start to produce new growth and flower in winter. Pelargonium anethifolium has a tuberous root with flowers- yellow to greyish pink with purple markings and is night scented, the leaves are feathery & is dormant during the summer months. Pelargonium barklyi has lovely light green ornamental leaves that are hairy with deep veins & a purple zone along the edge, usually dark purple/red underneath with cream coloured flowers, the tuber is turnip shaped and can survive dry hot summers when it is dormant. Pelargonium chelidonium is also dormant during the summer but flowers in Spring which are bright pink in colour with darker markings, a turnip shaped tuber and ovate leaves, Pelargonium aciculatum has pale yellow to cream flowers with darker markings and greyish leaves. Pelargonium asarifolium, Pelargonium auritum and pelargonium carnesum Autumn/ winter growers.

Scented gardens

janine-joles-f0heeiu-Ec0-unsplash

Photo by Jannine Joles-unsplash.com

Scented flowers and leaves have many benefits for your health, well being, positive energy and also for providing beauty and fragrance to your home & garden.
Flower petals and scented leaves can be used to make perfume, essential oil, pot pourri, soap, rosewater scented candles, incense, a bouquet of flowers as well as for food and beverages. Recent research have shown that the aroma from scented leaves and flowers can influence our feelings and mood, by reducing stress, anxiety, fatigue and to improve memory and relaxation. The purpose of the flowers fragrance in nature is to attract bees, butterflies and moths, & the scented leaves to deter insects away from the plant.

Whether you choose to grow your scented plants near to the house, along a walkway in the garden which releases fragrance as you pass by, in a container garden on a patio, on steps, close to a dinning area, a pot full of herbs or grown along a wall or trellis they can bring great joy and pleasant aromas to your surroundings.
Planting aromatic lily bulbs in deep containers near to the home, or by a doorway or window box can be very inviting to your friends and neighbours with its strong sweet heavenly scent like the L. regale, L.henryi, L. longiflorum, L.casa blanca, . L. auratum, L. candidum, L. hansonii and various oriental lilies.
Scented flowers and herbs which have been cut and taken indoors to be dried in spring or late summer, are edible and can be used in cake making, tea, in desserts and drinks as well as for sachets, bath water, potpourri, dyes and candle & paper making such as marigold, violas, lavender, cornflowers and roses.
Fresh edible flowers such as hibiscus, honeysuckle, lavender, lilac, nasturtiums, pansies, citrus flowers, roses, violets and daisies can also be used for cake decoration, desserts, liqueur, mousse, salads or as a garnish. The flowers usually have a delicate flavour so it will not effect the overall taste of the food and can also look appetizing & artistic.
An arrangement of freshly cut scented flowers in a vase can not only lightens up a room with its array pastel shades or exotic colours but also emits a delightful fragrance.
Other scented plants ideas for creating more fragrance within your garden space include a Lavender hedge, sweet peas for their scented flowers or a rose garden.

A garden full of pleasantly rich highly scented plants can be captivating & uplifting, especially when they fill the air with perfume bringing tranquillity and relaxation to your surroundings while encouraging wildlife and creating a peaceful environment.

Scented plants can be grown not only in the garden by the side of a walkway, in a flower border or low growing varieties around stepping stones but they can also do well in containers & window boxes which is especially lovely grown close to a window, doorway or gate or archway
Frangipani has a very strong beautiful rich sweet fruity floral fragrance which come in a choice of pastel colours of pinks, white, yellows and oranges and is associated with love & romance which can also be used for essential oil, skin care and perfume, It originates from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, so it needs a hot & sunny position and in cooler countries it may need a green house or conservatory.
The Lily of the valley (convallaria majalis) has sweet scented delicate bell shaped flowers which is used for perfume, for bridal bouquets and has medicinal properties. In Greek mythology this plant was discovered by the god Apollo and is also the national flower of Yugoslavia and Finland. Gardenia has large white flowers with a strong sweet fragrance and is used for essential oil and perfume, it has been customary
in France to use the flower for decoration on tuxedos and suit jackets and also as a garnish for Tiki cocktails in bars in the South Pacific. but the downside is that it requires humid conditions in acidic soil as it is native to tropical regions.
The peony flowers range in shape with colours of purple, pink, red, white or yellow and some are more strongly scented than others usually with a sweet delicate rosy scent which is used in perfume, skin care, and has medicinal properties. The petals can also be used for making peony water, tea, salads, drinks and is also popular for cut flowers, and is a symbol for the twelfth wedding anniversary. Sweet peas have a rich intense fragrance & pastel coloured flowers of purple, blue, white or have two colours, the scent can range from low to very highly scented and is used for bouquets, essential oils, perfume & skin care and has medicinal properties. Lathyrus Odoratus ‘Matucana’ is said to have the strongest perfumed flowers of the sweet pea.

Having the luxury of growing beautiful & colourful fragrant flowers in your garden or in containers can be captivating, but they can also be used to add beauty and taste to your food and beverages such as syrups, cakes, iced drinks, teas, ice cream, salads, cocktails, jams, desserts, mousse, lemonade, stew, with cheese or simply for decoration especially if they are grown naturally without the use of pesticides.
Scented leaf pelaroniums like the P. tomenosum mint scented leaf, P. citronellum lemon scented leaf and P. capitatum rose scented leaf can be used in cake making, jellies, desserts, to flavour drinks and ice cubes more. Anise Hyssop has lavender coloured flowers which has a light liquorice like taste and is related to the mint family, this plant alone is said create up to 90,000 flowers which attracts bees and butterflies, the leaves have medicinal properties which has been traditionally used by the native Americans and the flowers can be used in hot tea, iced tea, salads, pies and sweets. Carnations are believed to be originated from the Mediterranean when it was described by Theophrastus an ancient Greek botanist 2000 years ago. The native colour is purple pink but are also available in colours of white, yellow, red, blue & green and the flowers and scent is often used in beer, wine, vinegar, sauces, salads, yogurt, cakes and desserts. Lavendula is a very popular culinary herb because if its very strong feminine floral fragrance which is also used for essential oil, L. Angustifolia ‘Munstead’ is the most usual lavender for its use in cooking which include cupcakes, sponge, scones, dressings, desserts, salads, buds in tea, honey, marshmallows, jam and can be mixed with rosemary in savoury dishes. Elderberry has white or cream colour flowers usually in clusters with a fruity floral scent and is part of the honeysuckle family, the berries when cooked are used to make wine, juice, dye and for the treatment of cold & flu. The flowers are used to flavour jam, ice-lollies, cake, desserts, marshmallows, honey and is used to flavour the french liqueur ‘St Germain and ‘Halland Flader the Swedish distilled spirit known as Akvavit.
Flowers which are used for food and beverages include Angelica, Bee balm, Begonia, calendula, carnations, Chamomile, chicory, Chives, Chrysanthemums, Clover, Cornflowers. Daisy, Dandelions, Day lilies, Elderflower, Apple/Pear/Plum or Citrus blossom, Hibiscus, Hollyhock, Honeysuckle, Lavender, Marshmallow, Lilac and Nasturtum.

Freshly cut fragrant flowers picked straight from your garden for an elegant bouquet arrangement for your dinning area, living room or bedroom can be exquisite especially when they fill the air with their heavenly scents while adding beauty with many colour varieties to your living space area,
Flowers such as Chrysanthemums, Sweet pea, lily, sunflower, tulips, gladiolus, roses, corn flower, peony, carnations, dianthus and gypsophila, eucalyptus and succulents can be grown from seed, bulbs or plants from a garden centre or nursery, When you cut your plant for a bouquet it is best to cut the stems at an angle so that the ends will not settle at the base of the vase and to remove any leaves and branches from the stems which will go in water, Place the flowers up against the vase and measure the length, cutting the correct size you desire, the flowers will last longer if the vase has been cleaned frequently after use with the removal of previous plant debris. Spread out the flowers evenly around the vase removing any dead blooms, the primary flowers are the ones you wish to show up the most in your arrangement such as large or colourful ones and the secondary flowers are usually smaller in size, you also need to add interesting plant leaves to create a balance of flowers within your bouquet. Place the flowers into a vase which has been half filled with water add a table spoon of sugar or mix in plant food to your vase to help to preserve the flowers for longer and it is advisable to change the water every three days.
Zinnia, which is part of the daisy Asteraceae family with brightly coloured flowers of white, yellow, orange, red and lilac, native to North & South America and is said to be the longest lasting flowers in a bouquet, followed by orchids ,carnation, delphiniums, chrysanthemums, alstroemeria and gladiolus.
Succulent types such as Scabiosa flowers that forms a rosette shape in various colours of purple, red, Pink and orange, goes well with roses in a vase. Echereria are greyish blue succulents that has flower stalks with brightly coloured rosettes which can make a bouquet look more sculptural and elegant, another is Aeanium a low growing succulent with leaves that form a rosette also know as the house leek, there are a number of species and cultivars some with dark reddish brown leaves.

Highly scented fresh flowers and herbs can be used to make essential oil from your own garden for treating a range of aliments, relaxation and massage.
Flowers such as chamomile, geranium, clary sage, jasmine, juniper berry, lavender, rose and more are made for floral scents so you can make your own face or body cream, soap, face mask, massage oil for aromatherapy or to add it to your bath water.
Collecting fresh flowers, leaves or herbs from your garden and adding them to a steam distiller with water which is heated from underneath, the steam from the plants goes through the chambers of the pot and then drips out as essential oil, it can be purchased in a range of different sizes.
Cold pressed essential oils are made from citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, lemons and limes which are peeled and placed in a cloth, then crushed to release the essential oils.
Maceration is when the flowers are infused in a carrier oil such as sunflower or almond, then placed into a copper pot and heated underneath for a few hours and the remaining essential oil is filtered.

Enfleurage is the oldest method where essential oils are extracted using the hot or cold method for more fragile flowers like jasmine and rose, this can be done by using a glass frame with a coat of animal fat or fatty oil, the frames are stacked on top of one another and after a few days to weeks the flowers are replaced with new ones, later alcohol is added with the fat and then separated to create essential oil.
Blue tansies are perennial herbs with yellow flowers that resemble a button in shape, the essential oil is dark blue and has a fragrance similar to apple which is great in skin care for delicate and irritated skin and making it look more glowing. It is also used as an insect repellent and to flavour sauces, omelettes and puddings & the Cherokee also used this plant for medicinal uses.
Ylang Ylang also know as the perfume tree is native to tropical Asia and is part of the custard apple family. The leaves are oval and shiny with yellow star shaped flowers which face downwards. Essential oil is pale yellow beige in colour with a custard like fragrance and a dash of jasmine & neroli, used in perfume and aromatherapy.
Jasmine meaning ‘gift from god’ derived from the Persian word Yasanen is popular for its highly scented flowers and is part of the olive family, the flowers are white or pale yellow and grows as a shrub or vine. The essential oil has a sweet exotic floral scent and is used for perfume, aromatherapy, for favouring tea and for religious ceremonies. Other flowers include helichrysun (sweet rich fragrance), bergamont (floral citrus), neroli (sweet spicy floral), rhododendrom (fresh light scent) and yallow (fruity herb).

Urban gardening

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photo by Chuttersnap- unsplash.com


With the growth of cities and expansion of towns, growing plants in these areas can help improve the environment & air pollution.

People living in an urban environment can also benefit from growing and caring for plants, flowers and also vegetables, they not only provide beauty to the surroundings with colourful, fragrant flowers and herbs but they can also improve the air quality, reduce pollution or block unwanted views or noise as well as getting better connected with nature, reducing stress and improving mental health.

There are many ways that you can grow plants in an urban setting, whether you have a small balcony, limited garden space, a roof garden, pots and containers around the house, an apartment or if you grow plants indoors.
Growing plants in containers is ideal if you have limited space in your garden, or if you have a small patio area or balcony. Containers can be placed on steps, outside a doorway or in the corners of a balcony or patio to make room for a sitting out area for relaxation. Edible scented leaf pelargoniums can be grown in containers preferably in a sunny area within easy reach so you can add them to food and beverages as well as growing herbs, vegetables such as lettuce, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, parsley and editable flowers such as nasturtiums and violets.

Trellises can create a more private area on your balcony, patio area or roof garden which can be easily attached to the wall where you can grow climbing plants with lovely fragrant flowers such as roses, honey suckle, passionflower, jasmine or simple runner beans. Vertical crates can also be used as an alternative to trellis or for something more elegant balcony flower planters with trellis attached which can also be purchased online or in garden centres.

Hanging baskets are great not only for balconies & patio areas but also if you live in an apartment without a garden or balcony, you can simply attach them to the wall outside your window or door way, on the walls of your balcony or on railings, with plants such as pelargoniums, colourful flowering blooms or vegetables & herbs. Vertical gardening also works well by fixing containers to the wall or growing plants onto the wall itself using a special frame.
If you have a flat roof you could consider creating a roof garden, by using light weight containers and soil. Fixing trellis to areas of the roof can help reduce wind gusts and also protect your plants, but you will also need to add a water system to water them regularly.

Growing plants on the balcony or patio

Balconies and patios are ideal for urban living by getting you more involved with growing and caring for plants, gaining a feel for nature and the outdoors, while providing a private area for relaxation or pleasant views. Depending on the number of hours of sun you have during the day can determine the type of plants that would be ideal for your balcony or patio. If you have hot sun most of the day you could consider growing more succulents, herbs or exotic plants, or if you have a busy life you could try self watering pots, hydroponics or by adding more shade to your balcony or patio with trellis, bamboo shading, shade cloth or retractable awning. For balconies and patios with shade part of the day you could consider plants like morning glory, marigold, pansies, chrysanthemums, verbena, fuchsia, ferns, fruits and vegetables or various types of pelargoniums such as P. tomentosum, P. denticulatum and P. quinquelobatum.
Plants require about 12 to 16 hours of sun light per day, so if you have low light on your balcony you could try using artificial lighting such as lamps or led lights to improve growth and the overall health of the plant.
If you have mostly pot plants it is recommend to use good quality soil which is rich in nutrients for healthy growth and longevity in small containers and also the use of Fertilizer.
Shrub like plants may take up more room unless it is cut back frequently or if it is kept like a standard or a bonsai, so small or tall upright plants may be a better opinion for providing extra space on your balcony for other plants or furniture. There are many ways to brighten up the look of your balcony or patio, no matter what the size, Adding rugs, cushions and folding tables and/or chairs can give a homely feel, as well as making it easy to store them away quickly when you need the space. Lighting is great for the evening and night time, there are various types that are ideal for balconies which include string lights and bulb string, Led string lights, paper lanterns or lamps.
Adding hanging baskets or containers to the walls of your balcony or patio is another way of bringing more plants without taking up too much space, as long as they drainage holes at the base. A few plants which are ideal for hanging baskets on a balcony include tangled heart vine, dwarf morning glories (evoluvlus), sword fern, devils ivy, dwarf jade plant(portulacaria afra) and inch plant Tradescantia zebina

Roof gardens

Many cities around the world are now thinking up new ways to go green, by growing organic vegetables, creating a meadow of flowers or a garden with grass and trees and plants on rooftops, such as the Brooklyn Grange in New York which has the largest roof farms in the world, and grows a large number of their own produce, including organic vegetables such as leaf greens, salad mixes, rocket, radishes, turnips kale and chard, fruits, edible flowers and fragrant herbs & selling them to communities in the city, which are grown naturally while supporting the ecosystems and also have around 20 beehives on the roofs around the city.
Roof gardens are not only great for providing you with fresh vegetables and fruits, flowers and herbs which you can enjoy at home, but also the benefits of reducing the amount of heat which is built up round the city caused mostly by concrete buildings, roads & pathways which absorbs the heat of the sun and increases the temperature, as well as car engines and air conditioning units. Plants can not reach a surface temperature higher than 5 c , it absorbs water from the roots which moves throughout the plant known as transpiration, so growing more plants around the city will help reduce the temperature and also reduce smog and pollution which can lead to respiratory problems.
There are a few different urban methods which are used on roof gardens these include hydroponics when plants are grown without the use of soil but in a mineral and nutrient enriched water at the roots which is pumped and moves around in pots, tanks or tubs or plastic hydroponic reservoirs. Aeroponics is when plants are grown without the use of soil in an enclosed space by spaying the roots with air or mist which contains nutrients often by using a Aeroponic plant support device. Green roof is a living vegetation such as moss, grass, perennials, herbs or shrubs which grows on top of a roof or building by using layers of waterproof membrane, filter, drainage and a growing medium.

Containers are probably the most easiest and most affordable for growing plants on roofs, such as pots, tubs, barrels or hanging baskets which are especially good if you have limited space, light weight pots such as plastic is recommended, so not too much weight is on your roof top (unless you have strong winds), as plants will become heavier as they grow and it is advisable to make sure your roof is strong enough if you wish to place many pots on your roof. You will also need good access to a water hose, electricity for lighting and to think about how you will get plants and other items up on to the roof. A water butt could be used with a hose attachment or drip irrigation. Trellis, hedging, screens or fencing maybe good for reducing wind or hot sun on the roof top.
Low growing trees, shrubs, herbs and vegetables can grow well on roof tops but If you have hot sun most of the day on your roof it maybe best to get drought tolerant plants.
Raised beds is another alternative, when the soil has been raised in a container such as a frame or box, this can improve the soil quality especially when mixed with organic matter such as from a compost bin, the soil will also provide better drainage but may need more water during the summer, although because of its small size watering shouldn’t be much of a problem, drip irrigation is also a good and easy way to water them. Raised beds are fairly simple to make by creating a frame which can be made out of wood, stone, brick and in any style you require whether you like a modern, traditional or rustic feel.
Outdoor dinning & relaxing furniture, pergolas or even a shed can also improve the overall look of your roof garden.

partly from the July newsletter

more info at http://www.pelargoniumspeciesworld.com

History of Gardens -Flower Borders

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Through the ages gardens were created for their beauty, expression, design, to create food and medicine & for making cosmetics and perfumes.

The first garden was believed to have been created in 10,000 BC in the middle east (The Levant) a Mediterranean region, the Fertile Crescent was a wide expense of land which was similar in shape to a first quarter phase of the moon, which contained wild grasses of barley and wheat so that hunter gathers would grow there own food instead of searching for miles to find it and could then live closer together in settlements.
Later when the advancement of human society began to develop gardens were more appreciated for their attractiveness and was regarded more as a luxury.
The Epic of Gilgamesh contains the earliest recorded gardens from the year 2100 BC when Uruk the ancient city of Sumer was built upon a large man made hill, the upper hill contained buildings & temples and the lower areas of the hill was said to contain gardens with ponds, orchards, date palms and fallow fields, it also had water canal irrigation systems to water plants.
From the 16th century BC the ancient Egyptians created gardens for decorative use, garden cultivation & design seen from early wall paintings containing ponds with lotus plants surrounded by lines of acacia and palm trees.

Over the centuries new garden ideas & layouts where being created, manly for the use of herbs for medicine and vegetables for providing food.
The raised border was first created during the middle ages in Europe but was restricted to monasteries and the wealthy who owned manor houses. Local saplings were woven together to create fences and filled with soil to make raised beds, usually rectangular in shape, they were used in kitchen gardens, vegetable and herb gardens and infirmary gardens.
During the Elizabethan era in England cottage gardens became fashionable and were mainly for easy access to herbs, vegetables and fruit around the cottage grounds, but also contained a variety of flowers such as old roses, hollyhocks, Sweet William, primrose, violets and calendula.
Present day cottage gardens have a mixture of different plants in a border directly outside the cottage with stone or turf pathways, this style has a natural feel with well balanced colours and various flower shapes and fragrances, sometimes mixed with long grasses, these often replaced lawns with many flowers and herbs grown close to each other to reduce the need for weeding.

The potager is a formal garden design in France, consisting of a mixture of fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs grown together in borders, edging beds such as wattle fencing, containers or divided by hedges, walls or pathways. It is usually grown organically and some of the flowers are editable ideal for a kitchen garden, Pelargoniums and geraniums also grow well in this type of garden style with plants such as chives, cauliflower, broccoli, gladiolus, hyssop,
peppers, marigolds, strawberries, violets, lettuce & mallows and many more.

From the May Newsletter http://www.pelargoniumspeciesworld.com