Geraniums are beautiful both indoors and outdoors, and belong to a group of plants that not only offer a wealth of colours, shapes and types, but are also constantly being renewed and developed.
Geraniums - indoors
Most geranium types can be enjoyed inside the home as a foretaste of summer. They have a touch of nostalgia about them, while still fitting in with modern consumer tastes. Whether placed three in a row in patinated ceramic pot covers on the windowsill, planted in a brightly-coloured pot, or gathered together in a group in an exciting pot on the dining table, they help to lend a touch of personality and edge to the home.
Geraniums - outdoors
Outdoors on the terrace, in the garden or on the balcony is another place where geraniums really come into their own and show what they can do.
Pelargonium grandiflorum, also known as French geraniums, are very popular, and there are large and small-flowered varieties to choose between.
Per Tingdal of the Danish Tingdal horticultural nursery situated in Odense, one of the producers of Pelargonium grandiflorum, says:
"The small-flowered type Tip Top is our specialty. It is a seedling for early planting out that can withstand temperatures right down to 5 o C. You can enjoy this plant right from the early spring and summer, especially if you plant it in pots or window boxes, so that it is raised slightly above ground level."
One of the most famous geranium types is the round-leaved zonal geranium, which is available in an exciting range of colours and versions, in which both the leaves and the flowers can be multicoloured.
Thomas Linnemann of the Danish Linnemann nursery in Aarhus produces Old Classic types, which include double-flowered geraniums with such royal names as 'Kronprinsesse Mary ('Crown Princess Mary'), 'Prins Nicolai' ( 'Prince Nicolai') and 'Dronning Ingrid' ('Queen Ingrid').
'Dronning Ingrid' is a classic, with its large leaves and delicate pink flowers. Proprietor Thomas Linnemann explains its great popularity:
"'Dronning Ingrid' is a sure winner. It thrives very well outdoors, and if you give it plenty of water, it will reward you with beautiful flowers. And if you remember to cut off the withered stems, it can flower again and again. "
A lovely scent of nature
But besides their flowers, there are also geraniums which are grown for their scent, known as scented geraniums. The flowers of these types are less prominent, but they have other valuable qualities. Bent Arndal, from the Odense nursery of the same name, says:
"One of the things that really makes scented geraniums special is their many different scents. The fact that they can keep insects away is another plus when you are sitting outside in the bright summer evenings."
Hang out with geraniums on the balcony
Although we tend to associate hanging geraniums with a Tyrolean atmosphere, many are also produced in Denmark for planting in window boxes or in hanging baskets, where they add an extra touch of colour to the facade or the terrace.
So when it comes to geraniums there is a wide and free choice, and it is just a matter of finding the kind of geranium that best suits your needs and temperament.
Recent varieties of Pelargonium grandiflorum Tip Top: 'Soft Carmen' and 'Pink Night'.
All of these types can be purchased at garden centres and shops across the country.