Let's use this thread to discuss and consolidate our experiences with hardy geraniums aka cranesbills.
Last year I put in many small plants from a wide variety of sources. Much to my disappointment, most of them sulked the entire season, and failed to grow and bloom. Some of them even appeared to yellow and die in July and August. I thought the extreme heat and drought had done them in.
Now, during this long, cool spring with more rainfall, many of these geraniums are growing with a vengeance. Here is what I have so far:
'Rozanne'. Many of you seem to be underwhelmed with this cultivar, but I have been in love since I planted it last spring. Although she never grew much last year, she valiantly tried to bloom the entire season. This year, my little clumps have returned with added vigor, forming lusty stems with attractive foliage that are already weaving through their neighbors.
Geranium x magnificum 'Rosemoor'. This is one that seemed to die in last year's extreme heat wave. It started to regrow, albeit weakly, when cooler temperatures returned in autumn. This year, however, the plants are wonderfully robust and full and are sending up abundant flowering scapes.
Geranium maculatum 'Elizabeth Anne'. This selection of our native cranesbill is exquisite. Foliage is stunning and seems to have an almost irridescent quality to the bronze-chocolate tones that make it stand out even in a shady setting. Blooms are abundant and lovely. (I also have many plants of regular wild G. maculatum that are also wonderful in every way.)
'Tiny Monster'. I bought three pots of this cultivar last spring and decided last minute to divide them each into tiny pieces when planting them out to scatter them around the garden. Each of these pieces sat there and did nothing all season. But this year, each division is huge and lusty and covered with buds. I love the small, feathery foliage almost as much as the shocking magenta blooms.
'Blue Sunrise'. Much hardier than expected, all three of my plants have returned and look far happier than last year with greatly increased vigor.
Geranium himalayense 'Derrick Cook'. Much like 'Rosemoor' this cultivar has bulked up into highly attractive mounds of foliage and emerging bloom stalks after an unpromising first season (non) performance in my garden.
'Anne Folkard' and 'Crystal Lake'. Only one out of three of each of these cultivars survived the winter, but my remaining plants appear quite vigorous.
Geranium pyrenaicum 'Bill Wallis'. I grew these from seed and all of my original plants have survived the winter. They have been bloom for past 2-3 weeks with tiny but pretty purple flowers. I have to admit that it does look a like a weed and I hope I don't regret planting it.
Based on Richard Hawke's article on hardy geraniums found in the May/June edition of Fine Gardening magazine, I have decided to add a few more this year: Blue Cloud, Sirak, Moran and Butterfly Kisses. I am also adding a form called Eureka Blue which is said to be a more vigorous sport or possible tetraploid version of the classic 'Orion'.
What hardy geraniums do you all grow and love and recommend? Which ones have you been unsuccessful with or displeased by for whatever reason?