This is a picture from last spring of the Geranium maderense in front of Chicken Coop 3.0. This beast is a mutant sibling of all the sweetly sized geraniums that one usually finds in the landscape. It is a biennial that grows with great vigor and little care here in Zone 9. The first year you get a mound of fantastic foliage- a single leaf makes an impressive arrangement in a vase. The second year the leaves are pressed to the ground so that the thick stems can support the absolutely gigantic inflorescence of flowers that springs forth. After the show is over this guy reseeds with enthusiasm and babies pop up all over the place. This particular plant was indeed a volunteer from prior years.
Please excuse the crappy picture. This plant was struck down in its prime, before any good pictures were taken.
That sprinkling of pink flowers above was just the beginning of the huge bouquet that was soon to come. This is a plant that is hard to kill. It loves everything- sun or shade, wet or dry. We found out that it can be be thwarted, however, by the crushing weight of a 5″ diameter redwood limb falling from the heavens upon its head. The bouquet was severed in half and we figured the whole plant was a gonner as it had already begun to set seed.
In a form that befits the spirit of this plant, it came back twice as fiercely. Letting this happen has meant multiple years of having to shimmy our way in to the door of our coop, but you just can’t disturb a plant that takes a death blow just days before it should have died of natural causes and springs back better than ever.
Finally this spring we have the double flower explosion I’ve been waiting for.
Each a little smaller than the daddy, but pretty great all the same.
That little mound to the right, by the way, is a normal sized geranium called ‘Ann Folkard’.
Here’s to meeting the next crushing challenge that lands on our heads with double bouquets of fierceness! Happy Spring!