The Star: October 27, 2016

StarMedia.Digital

22 Thursday October 27 2016

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The Star

Gardening

WHAT YOU

NEED TO

KNOW

When to plant

Warm climates

spring, summer and

autumn

Temperate climates

spring and summer

Cold climate late

spring, summer

Where to plant

Full sun

When to prune

Little pruning is

required, they can

be trimmed to

shape in summer or

autumn

Plant spacing

Depends on the

variety. Allow 50cm

apart for mass

garden plantings

Where to buy

Garden centres and

hardware stores.

Heroes in the sun

Rachel Vogan says geraniums flourish in the

heat and can make colour statements in a

range of garden areas

UP UNTIL very recently I have

loved to loath old-fashioned types

of geraniums.

You know the ones – with that

hideous smell, which makes

some people sneeze or gag. The

intensity stemmed from my

childhood, when Nana had them

planted all over her garden on

the dry, barren clay banks of her

garden at the head of Akaroa

Harbour.

Every time a friend would

pop over and admire her garden

they would be sent home with a

pile of cuttings, often including

geraniums. As her apprentice,

she would ask me to hold them,

but the aroma would give me a

sneezing fit and seemed to linger

on my fingers for hours. But I

sucked it up, as I adored my nana.

Last season, however, I did a

massive U-turn. I started growing

geraniums in pots and in parts

of the garden that struggle to get

enough water and attention –

basically in areas the hose doesn’t

reach and in which the soil is so

barren and hard I can’t get a fork

in. And they flourished, so much

so I am now a convert – as long as

I do not need to go near them or

touch them, we get on just fine.

Geraniums are one of the most

widely grown and highly regarded

flowers in the world. Little else

can match them for durability and

flower power throughout the year,

blooming for over nine months,

and in some cases in a sheltered

spot all year round.

Plant breeders have gone mad

and bred piles and piles of new

hybrid varieties. Many flower for

longer, have brighter-coloured

blooms, the growth habits are

more compact and they seem to

be more disease resistant as well.

Many also self-clean, so that when

the flowers finish, the old blooms

just fall off and new flower stems

appear. These geraniums thrive

in sunny, dry spots, and are ideal

for those of us who may forget to

water their pots.

Christchurch Super Garden Tour

Including 14 Premium gardens

19th & 20th

November 2016

10am to 4pm

A Wigram Lions Club Project raising

funds for the Westpac Rescue

Helicopter Service and Child

Cancer Foundation.

Tickets & free information

brochures available at any

Oderings, Terra Viva, or Portstone

Garden Nursery Outlets and at

Riccarton House or the Bicycle

Thief Restaurant.

Tickets $25 each or at www.lionsclubs.org.nz/

chch-gardentour tickets at $27 each.

One ticket gives access on both days.

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