You can have too much pink!

Rosa-KarlsruheIt’s the third week of June and the roses are looking good despite a couple of heavy thunderstorms the other day, and the July-blooming lilies are already fully out. Also, specimens from one of my favourite useful plant groups, the hardy geraniums, are now busy flowering.

Geranium pratense Mrs Kendall Clarke
Meadow cranesbill
Geranium pratense Mrs Kendall Clarke
(not too bad in partial shade but prefers sun)

Hardy geraniums, not to be confused with bedding geraniums (pelargoniums), is a large genus with most of the popular garden favourites performing reliably year after year. I happily and successfully grow both geranium pratense ‘Mrs Kendall Clark’ and geranium x magnificum underneath roses and through other herbaceous perennials. However, I appear to have unintentionally invited a thug into my garden. I wanted small pink flowers to interweave with the mauve and purple geraniums beneath the pink climbing roses.

Geranium-x-magnificum
Meadow cranesbill
Geranium-x-magnificum
(gives one grand short-lived hit of purple in June, does best in full sun)

A fews years ago I bought (yes, I did, mea culpa) geranium x oxonianum ‘Wargrave Pink’ and the label stated “makes excellent ground cover”. Well, if it likes your conditions it rapidly reveals its true thuggish nature. Now, every summer I spend several sessions ripping out its spreading root system in my battle to keep it restrained.

geranium x oxonianum 'Wargrave Pink'
Here comes the thug.
Geranium × oxonianum ‘Wargrave Pink’
(in its defence though it will be pushing out a succession of little pink flowers all summer)

I know I shouldn’t complain as it keeps flowering through the summer, but sometimes you can have too much pink – obviously only if it’s the wrong type of pink. Because . . . roses …

Rosa Ferdinand Pichard
Too much pink – no, not if it’s a fantastic rose like this spectacular specimen.
Rosa Ferdinand Pichard

pink silk chiffon scarf
Can’t seem to kick the pink habit – just finished this silk chiffon scarf.