Friday, June 18, 2010

Clash of the Tints


Geranium 'Ann Folkard'

I just had to do a post on this little gem. I don't know what first drew me to this plant. I'm guessing it was the chartreuse foliage and the fact that it was supposed to be a knitter...winding it's way through borders. I've always like viney plants and plants that wandered a bit. I like the sense of spontaneity and freedom they exude. To me, that's one of the keys of a cottagey garden, unplanned combinations, things growing exuberantly out of bounds; everything that Ann stands for! I bought 3 plants this spring and they have done really well. One of them seems slightly less robust than other 2 and is a bit more spindly. However, all 3 are growing in all directions. They send out bright red stems in all directions, climbing into neighboring plants, or just poking along the ground. They remind me someone of running strawberries in this regard.

GardenView copy

The leaves are it's best attribute, I think. Chartreuse when young, aging to a light yellow-green, they are heavily divided and really lovely. I've read these get about 2' tall, so I'll have to wait and see, right now they are maybe 8" tall, and seem to be growing horizontally for the most part, forming a dense mat of foliage. The flowers are something you really have to see in person to appreciate. I can't quite decide how to describe the color, especially since it does change a bit as the blossoms age. Some start off with a distinctly blue-ish cast (you can sort of see this in the bottom left blossom of in the photo at the beginning of this post). They all eventually come to the same color though...a sort of violet-magenta that on overcast days is electric and really vibrant. On sunny days, I'd almost say it is violently bright! I especially love the nearly black eye and radiating veining, they are such a contrast. I can see how some would find the combination of yellowish foliage against magenta flowers to be a bit harsh...but I'm loving it! I can't wait to see these plants really fill in mature.


  1. Oh, I love hardy Geraniums, and magenta and chartreuse are two of my favorite colors! I'll have to see if I can find this one, I love it. Your first photo of the bloom is really nice.

  2. I love "Ann Folkard!" Not only is it a wonderful color scheme, it performs for such a long time. In my old garden I also used to love the combination of Geranium x magnificum and either the blood red of Greek poppies (P. rhoeas var. pusilla) or deep burnt orange crocosmias, as well as that of Lychnis coronaria and the clear lemon yellow of Welsh poppies (Meconopsis cambrica). Optic nerves need shocking once and a while!