Dusky cranesbill with small dark flowers and darkly blotched leaves - an elegant presence in woodland and wildlife gardens and finches love the seeds
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: fertile, well-drained
- Rate of Growth: average to fast-growing
- Flowering period: May to June
- Hardiness: fully hardy
A useful geranium that will thrive even in damp or dry shade. This has small, deep maroon-black flowers in late spring to early summer, held high above the soft-green, deeply lobed leaves, which are often blotched with purple. It will quickly spread to form a hummock of foliage that is excellent for suppressing weeds. Use it in woodland, among ferns, at the edge of a border, where the dark flowers can be seen, or under deciduous trees.
- Garden care: In mid-summer rejuvenate plants that are beginning to look jaded by removing old flower stems and leaves. Lift and divide large colonies in spring.
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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, GaliaAsked on 2/15/2010 by e moran
A:Hello Galia, All of the taller shrubs you mentioned for the semi-circular bed will get quite large, but their growth will be restricted (both in height and spread) if they are kept in a pot where their roots are restricted. For groundcover you could opt for any of the following:- Bergenia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.bergenia/ Helleborus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.helleborus/ Heuchera http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.heuchera/ Epimedium http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.epimedium/ Geranium http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.geranium/ Erica http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.erica/ As for the bamboos, even the most well behaved one (Fargesia murieliae) will spread to around 1.5m across so you should keep this in mind when planting it in such a confined space. Perhaps a better option would be one of our hedging plants, which can be cut back hard against the wall. Taxus http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/trees/hedging/conifer/bigger-trees/best-in-very-large-gardens-parks/taxus-baccata-/classid.6230/ or Ligustrum http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/hedging/ligustrum-ovalifolium-/classid.4093/ would be good options. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 2/16/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
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 PamelaAsked on 12/13/2009 by Pamela Spiers
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 DoctorAnswered 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 PamelaAnswered 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 GuyAsked on 7/29/2009 by Guy Smith
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 DoctorAnswered on 7/30/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
A sanctuary of peace and tranquillity with an overwhelming sense of calm, a woodland garden is an ideal place to get away from it all with natural shade and privacy. Based on a simple grouping of trees or even a single, multi-stemmed specimen, a woodland-Read full article
Deadheading will prevent them setting seed and so use their energy producing a further flush of blooms later on. Plants that respond well to deadheading include annuals such as Ageratum, Alyssum, Antirrhinum, Calendula, Centaurea, Cosmos, Dahlia, foxgloveRead full article
Many gardeners who are happy, even gung-ho, with the secateurs when pruning shrubs and climbers are surprisingly reluctant to take the shears to herbaceous perennials. Maybe this is because it just doesn’t seem quite right to be cutting back all that newRead full article