We all know a good hardy geranium and probably all have at least one in our gardens too. There are so many to choose from that it’s hard to decide which one to go for. In my opinion there are only a handful of truly great geraniums and Patricia would be one of them.
Geranium Patricia is a big muscular plant that can grow to nearly 1m (3ft) high and wide. It flowers with abundance with masses of screaming magenta flowers covering the fresh green foliage. While this sounds a little gaudy the dark eye in each flower tones down the effect and the flowers themselves are scattered over its foliage which provide a calming backdrop of green. Highly-bred flowers can often be visually over the top, but Patricia imitates its wild cousins so well that it would suit the lush valleys of its home in the Caucasus aswell as our gardens in the UK.
Geranium Patricia appeared when it was crossed with Geranium endressii and Geranium psilostemon. The result of which has produced a hybrid that has slightly lighter flowers than the psilostemon, flowers for longer too, and is not so big retaining the smaller and spreading nature of endressii.
Geraniums generally form neat mounds of growth, steadily expanding until they flower in late spring / early summer. Patricia has several advantages over some of the more common cranesbills as it is less likely to collapse in an untidy heap after flowering and, while large, does not spread as vigorously and does not need a huge border to call home. It also does not scatter aggressive little seedlings all over the place either.
All geraniums benefit from fertile, moist well-drained soil. It will grow in poor soils, but you will lose some of the flowering vigour and they generally won’t grow as a large. It thrives in sunlight but will take a little shade too and, once its established, is easily cultivated by division in spring.
Geranium Patricia works well in any border, but I particularly like it with the pale blues of Veronica and greeny yellows like Euphorbia and Alchemillia. It also looks great snaking amongst the lower foliage of something like Sambucus Black Lace, with the purple leaves creating a dramatic backdrop for the intense flowers of the Geranium. Patricia is reliable, easy to grow and provides long-lasting colour for any garden – what more could you want for your borders?