Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Red Geranium Project

I think of my garden as just another way to express my creativity, and I tend to choose plants and colors  for "rooms" in my garden the same way I choose fabrics and colors for rooms in my home.

I'll never forget my first time in Europe, specifically Paris.  Red geraniums were everywhere, in every window box, full and lush.

I was so influenced by the sheer simplicity and beauty of these geraniums, that I came home, had window boxes installed and planted them with red geraniums and white Bacopa.

However, I found that keeping them lush and full was a bit of a challenge.  They do need to be deadheaded, as well as fertilized frequently.
Also, they tend to become ratty looking after a while, especially in the heat of summer.

I recently discovered a hybrid red geranium that stands up to heat, is full and lush, and absolutely gorgeous with velvet green leaves and deep blood-red flowers.
It's called "Big Red" geraniums by VIVA, and is sold by Home Depot!

Red geraniums are my choice for the pots and window boxes in Asti.
So when Home Depot got a shipment of VIVA "Big Red" Geraniums on Saturday, we bought as many as we could fit in the car and spent 6 hours planting out the pots scattered around.

This is what the old ones looked like from last year!  Ratty!

Much better, don't you think?
I'm hoping these geraniums carry us to Labor Day and beyond.

Each pot received Miracle Grow soil and is watered by a drip system, keeping them alive in our absence.  

I think red is a great color choice for the country.
It goes great with the white roses and purple lavender, which is about all that we can grow here, due to boron in the well water.

This is how I decorated this "room" in Asti.
Varied pots, some small, some large, planted with a combination of red patio roses, red geraniums with a few olive trees.  Italian Cypress line the edges.

Yes, gardening is much like decorating.
It's a wonderful opportunity to express creativity through living things by painting a landscape with color and texture.
I find it most satisfying.

For more information about VIVA Big Red geraniums, click here.
Big Red is currently available at Home Depot, but hurry--they're going fast!
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La Vie Quotidienne said...

Red is my accent in the garden too...not so much in flowers but in the hardscape. Love Geraniums!

Katherine said...

Although red is not the go to colour choice for my garden, I used red geraniums as the spotlight on a garden I decorated for a client several years ago.
The 'Chinese Red' geraniums carried a deep red-with-blue-undertone that brought an elegance to the other plantings {purple and white}. It remains one of my most favourite designs.

Leslie said...

Hi Dolores,

I'll be heading over to see what they have. It's usually recommended we wait until after Mothers Day to start planting because our morning temps are still in the mid thirties so we risk losing things.. and the ground is muddy. Geraniums are ALL over the place in the PNW. I usually do red and white. It's fun to see them on your beautiful property and I like your "room" colors!


Kelley said...

Couldn't agree more Delores! Your geraniums are beautiful and go perfectly with your Napa garden. I think they would look great inside your home too

xxx kelley

Monica said...

Your back yard is so beautiful thank you for sharing.

Kathysue said...

Delores it looks like a picture in Tuscany! Just beautiful! My BFF is strictly a red flower girl and all of her pots sport red geraniums. She lives on the water so it is perfect backdrop for the red.
I am the same way with my pink and white and purple in cobalt pots, it goes with the inside of my house. People use to tease me because I coordinated my yard, how can you not, I ask?!!! You always do the perfect touches, great job,
xo Kathysue

Unknown said...

Those are beautiful and look really wonderful in your outdoor room. I'm going to have to head over to HD and find some to put on my front porch!

Jana said...

I went to Germany and Switzerland last summer and too fell in love with the red geraniums spilling over the windowboxes. I've always loved geraniums but usually stick to pinks. When we got home, I set out to find some to put on my front porch and there were none to be had on the 4th of July here in Texas. So in February, as soon as I saw them hit the store, I bought tons and filled my front porch with them and they are huge and gorgeous. They make me smile every time I pull up to my house and I hope they last when the oppressive summer heat sets in!!!

Ivy, Phyllis and Me! said...

Good Afternoon Delores, May I say, what a beautiful garden you have. I love olive trees and Cypress trees. My fist experience of geraniums in window boxes was when I lived in Germany. Most of the German house had beautiful window boxes with geraniums tumbling over the side, just so beautiful.
Your red geraniums are beautifully placed and a joy to see.
Best Wishes

Woodside Park said...

Hi, Delores -
Love red geraniums in pots and window boxes!! Very French and Italian. Thanks for sharing this variety at HD. Never heard of it. I hope our HD will have some.

Michele Smith said...

I love Geraniums! Although I haven't traveled overseas yet, my grandmother had them in her yard and seeing them brings memories of her. I love having them in my yard each year. Your yard is absolutely beautiful, I could stare at your pictures for hours.

Burlap Luxe said...

Hi Delores
Thank you for gracing your beauty over at m'y place.
And these windows dressed with window boxes filled with red is so inspiring.
Love your pea gravel path filled with beauty.

A beautiful weekend to you.

Privet and Holly said...

Hi sweet Delores : )

This is a HUGE tip, as
I generally avoid geraniums
for all the reasons that
you mention, even though
I love them. We still have
snow on the edges of yards
and roads, but warmer
weather is moving in and
I am SO ready to dig in
and get going.

Your yard is amazing. I
think I would sit and just
take in the view for hours....

Happy Thursday,
xo Suzanne

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