After I bought this geranium (from the marvellous Marchants Hardy Plants), and watched it transform into a celestial cloud of powder blue the following year, I felt I needed to visit its place of origin, so this took me to the tiny village of Southease lying due south of Lewes in East Sussex, tucked away in a beautiful corner of the South Downs National Park.
Southease holds an annual plant fair on the green, and also hosts an open gardens day. So despite its size (population approx 50), it has many attractions not least a beautiful 12th century church with a round tower.
Additionally, it has lent its name to my subject today and I can’t do other than steal this description from Marchants’ catalogue … ‘wonderful huge cupped salvers of luminescent lavender-blue’. Here, it has been in flower since the end of May and, as always, benefits hugely from deadheading. Mine is not planted under a rose but it would be a perfect companion as are many geraniums; so there’s one more item to add to my ‘to do’ list!
Sadly, not many nurseries supply ‘Southease Celestial’, so that gives me an excuse to mention another favourite from the family, which is Geranium sanguineum ‘Khan’. Its large dark pink flowers are sumptuous, and it has that easy habit of wandering and clambering amongst its neighbours. I wouldn’t be without this one either!
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