Geranium phaeum 'Lily Lovell'

dusky cranesbill

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Dark-Violet flowers, with a hint of a pale eye, and very good, pale-green foliage that shows up well in spring

Val Bourne - Garden Writer

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  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: fertile, well-drained
  • Rate of growth: fast growing
  • Flowering period: May to June
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    The purple-mauve flowers of this cranesbill look like irridescent saucers floating above the deeply lobed foliage. The flowers appear in abudance from late spring to early summer and reach an impressive 4cm in diameter, therefore making it one of the largest and perhaps the prettiest of the Geranium phaeum group. These plants are one of the easiest to place in the garden as they are so good at adapting to a wide range of growing conditions, including dry shade, and quickly spread to form a hummock of foliage that is good for suppressing weeds. Use it in woodland, among ferns, where the flowers will shine , or under deciduous trees.

  • Garden care: In midsummer rejuvenate plants that are beginning to look jaded, by removing old flowered stems and leaves. Lift and divide large colonies in spring.

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4 Questions | 5 Answers
Displaying questions 1-4
  • Q:

    2006 Planting Chelsea Flower Show enquiry

    Hi, I see you have plants available for the current show, but do you have a plant list for the 2006 award winner (Daily Telegraph,Tom Stuart Smith) available as I am interested in buying some of these plants? Thank you for your time, Kelly
    Asked on 4/5/2010 by kelly mackenzie

    1 answer

    • A:

      Hello Kelly, He did use a lot of plants in his garden - here is a list which includes most. Allium Purple Sensation Anthriscus Ravens Wing Aquilegia Ruby Port Astrantia Claret Carex testacea Cirsium rivulare atropurpureum Dahlia Dark Desire Euphorbia Fireglow Geranium Lily Lovell Geranium phaeum Samobor Geranium Phillipe Valpelle Geranium psilostemmon Geum Princess Juliana Gillenia trifoliata Hakonechloa macra Iris Dusky Challenger Iris Dutch Chocolate Iris Sultan's Palace Iris Superstition Iris Supreme Sultan Knautia macedonica Lavandula angustifolia Nepeta subsessilis Washfield Nepeta Walkers low Purple fennel - Giant Bronze Rodgersia pinnata Superba Rodgersia podophylla Salvia Mainacht Sedum matrona Stachys byzantina Stipa arundinacea (syn.Anemanthele lessoniana) Stipa gigantea Tulip Abu Hassan Tulip Ballerina Tulip Queen of Night Verbascum Helen Johnston I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

      Answered on 4/6/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
  • Q:

    Plant advice for 2 new beds please

    Hello, I need some help to decide which plants to put into two new areas please:- 1: A semi-circle flash bed at the front of the house, size approx 2m x 0.80m and 0.80m deep. I thought about the 3 following options for a small tree/bush in the middle:- a) Magnolia soulangeana, but I was worried about the size that it could grow to and possible problems with roots etc . Will it stay small if the size of the container is used to restrict it? b) Witch Hazel (Hamamelis intermediana 'Diane'). Will it spread too much? I think this is very pretty. c) Corylus avellana 'contorta' Then I also need to think about ground cover plants to help suppress weeds. I am only interested in fully hardy, easy to look after plants, could be with some flowers or coloured leaves. 2:- A thin path between neighbours (approx 2m x 0.40). My idea is to plant bamboo. I would love a modern thin run of bamboo with ground cover. My worry is which bamboos to use. I love the yellow, like Phyllostychys aureocaulis (Golden Grove) but not sure if it is strong enough as it could be exposed to some wind. I bought from you a couple of years ago the Phyllostychys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' which I planted in pots but it died this year. I see on your website some other bamboos but I don't like them as much as their canes seems less exposed and have a lot more foliage. But possibly these would be a better alternative... ...? For the ground cover I as thinking of Ophiopogen nigrescen. Do you think these plants will be suitable, or have you any other suggestions? Thank you for your help, Galia
    Asked on 2/15/2010 by e moran

    1 answer

  • Q:

    Is it still ok to be cutting back herbaceous perennials, Lavender and Caryopteris late in the year?

    Dear Crocus, I didn't have time to cut back to ground level all my herbaceous perennial plants and some shrubs in the autumn, due to work and family commitments. It's difficult to get out into the garden just now as I only have a little time at the weekend. Would it be too late for me to cut everything back still between now in December and the end of February e.g hardy Geraniums, Hostas,etc. and shrubs like Lavenders and Caryopteris? I really would appreciate your advice. Many thanks Pamela
    Asked on 12/13/2009 by Pamela Spiers

    2 answers

    • A:

      Hello Pamela, You can do the herbaceous perennials anytime between now and spring, but the Caryopteris and Lavenders should be tackled in spring. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

      Answered on 12/15/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
    • A:

      Hi Helen, Thank you for your helpful information. The snow made the decision for me, it has lain for 4 weeks now. Kind Regards Pamela

      Answered on 1/9/2010 by Pamela Spiers
  • Q:

    Plants for outside my front door

    Hi Crocus I live in a flat and have pots outside my external front door. What plants can I grow in pots, in semi shade that will attract the bees? Thank you for your help. Kind regards Guy
    Asked on 7/29/2009 by Guy Smith

    1 answer

    • A:

      Hello Guy, The following plants would be suitable for your pots. Forget-me-not (Myosotis species) Bellflowers (Campanula species) Cranesbill (Geranium species) Dahlia - single-flowered species and cultivars Hellebores (Helleborus species) Japanese anemone (Anemone ?? hybrida) Fritillaries (Fritillaria species) Grape hyacinth (Muscari species) Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) Box (Buxus sempervirens) Christmas box (Sarcococca species) I hope this helps, Helen Plant Doctor

      Answered on 7/30/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Displaying questions 1-4

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