Geranium 'Johnson's Blue': glorious colour and super easy to grow
One of my favourite herbaceous perennials, Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ is a particularly popular Geranium because it provides excellent ground cover and lovely flowers over a prolonged period.
Growing happily in full sun or partial shade, and in almost any aspect or soil condition (except water-logged), G. ‘Johnson’s Blue’ is clump-forming and will slowly spread to widths of 0.5-1m over a few years. As with many perennials, the centre of the plant can become a little ‘tired’ after a few years, but it is easily lifted and divided to create several individual plants. If you have never tried to divide plants before I would urge you to try it- it’s really easy to do, and there is lots of good advice about how to do this online.
The flowers on G. ‘Johnson’s Blue’ are lavender-blue and about 3-5cm in width. With narrow crimson veins and five broad petals they really are the simplest of flower shapes. Borne on long slender stems, they ‘dance’ in the breeze and although they tend not to last too long they are quickly replaced by a ready selection of new blooms. On a good year, the first flowers will begin to appear in very early May and it will still be flowering well into mid-autumn. Not many other plants can claim to have such stamina!
G. ‘Johnson’s Blue’ is exceptionally easy to grow and is largely trouble and maintenance-free. I like to use it at the front or middle of a mixed planting scheme, often in drifts of three, five or even seven (if the border is large enough). It looks wonderful alongside plants of a contrasting texture or foliage colour: a purple Heuchera or a slender grass such as Stipa tenuissima are two excellent neighbours, but there are many other equally good combinations.
Ask a young child to draw a flower and the chances are they will produce something that looks uncannily like a Geranium. Sure, there is a place for more ‘interesting’ or ‘architectural’ plants in our gardens, but sometimes it’s the simple things that can give us the most pleasure. G. ‘Johnson’s Blue’ definitely falls into this category for me, and I wouldn’t want to be without it in my garden.
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