Your journey with Johnson’s Blue Geraniums doesn’t have to end within the confines of your garden. There’s a vast world of geraniums to explore, from different species and varieties to their historical significance and cultural uses. In this chapter, we invite you to delve deeper into the fascinating realm of geraniums.
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The Geranium Genus
Geraniums belong to the Geraniaceae family, a group of flowering plants known for their diverse forms and uses. While we often associate geraniums with the colorful and elegant blooms of Johnson’s Blue Geranium, there is much more to discover.
Within the geranium genus, there are over 400 species, and countless cultivars and hybrids have been developed by horticulturists and gardeners over the years. This diversity means that there is a geranium for nearly every garden, whether you’re seeking vibrant colors, unique foliage, or specific growth habits.
The Diversity of Geraniums
Hardy Geraniums (Cranesbills): Johnson’s Blue Geranium falls into this category. Hardy geraniums are known for their robust nature, making them suitable for a wide range of climates. They are often used for ground cover or as border plants.
Scented Geraniums: These geraniums are prized for their aromatic leaves, which release a variety of delightful fragrances when touched. Varieties include rose-scented, lemon-scented, and peppermint-scented geraniums.
Zonal Geraniums: Zonal geraniums are the classic bedding plants with showy, brightly colored flowers and distinctive “zones” on their leaves. They are popular choices for container gardens and are often seen in municipal plantings.
Ivy-leaf Geraniums: These geraniums are characterized by their trailing growth habit and ivy-shaped leaves. They make excellent choices for hanging baskets and cascading over walls.
Species Geraniums: These are the wild, original geraniums from which many cultivated varieties are derived. They often have simple, delicate flowers and are valued for their natural beauty.
Geranium in History
Geraniums have a rich history dating back centuries. The name “geranium” is derived from the Greek word “geranos,” meaning crane, due to the shape of the seed capsule resembling a crane’s bill. They were prized for their medicinal properties and fragrance in ancient times.
In the Victorian era, geraniums became a symbol of modesty and were often found adorning homes and gardens. They were considered a staple of proper etiquette.
Culinary and Medicinal Uses
Some geranium species are used in culinary and medicinal applications. For instance, Pelargonium graveolens, commonly known as rose-scented geranium, is used to flavor desserts, teas, and aromatherapy oils. It’s also believed to have various medicinal properties, such as helping with anxiety and stress.
Geraniums in Art and Literature
Geraniums have left their mark on art and literature throughout history. They have been featured in paintings by renowned artists and referenced in poetry and literature. Their vibrant colors and elegant form have made them a favorite subject for artists seeking to capture the beauty of nature.
Some geranium species are at risk of habitat loss and extinction. Conservation efforts are in place to protect these plants and their natural habitats. By supporting organizations dedicated to plant conservation, you can play a role in preserving the diversity of geranium species for future generations.
Growing Your Geranium Collection
If your passion for geraniums has ignited, consider expanding your collection by exploring different species and varieties. Geranium enthusiasts often find joy in seeking out rare and unusual cultivars and experimenting with new additions to their gardens.
Geranium Societies and Events
Joining a geranium society or attending geranium-related events can be a rewarding way to connect with fellow enthusiasts, exchange knowledge, and discover new varieties. These societies often hold plant sales, garden tours, and educational programs.
The world of geraniums is vast, encompassing a wide range of species, varieties, and historical significance. Your journey with Johnson’s Blue Geraniums can serve as a gateway to exploring this captivating realm further.
Whether you’re drawn to the historical charm of geraniums, the variety of species, or their culinary and medicinal uses, there’s always more to learn and discover. So, let your curiosity guide you as you explore the multifaceted world of geraniums, and let your passion for these remarkable plants continue to flourish beyond the confines of your garden.
Gardening is my passion and growing plants indoors has always been a stress relief for me. Grow a banana tree in my apartment once (although failed to produce bananas).