Gardening

On the balcony with geraniums


On the balcony with geraniums


Every year, when the warm weather arrives, the problem is always the same: what flowers to put on the terrace?
The small vases to be exhibited outside generally leave few alternatives, the roses would die there, some creepers would have little soil, then perennials in winter should be treated, preserved, controlled.
And so every year we opt for the already tested combinations, geraniums and surfinie in the front row, since they bloom abundantly, do not require excessive care, generally they tend not to suffer excessively due to the attack of parasites, they endure some days of drought and the summer heat without doing too many whims.
All these positive characteristics make surfinie and geraniums excellent terrace or balcony flowers, they can also be simply placed on a small windowsill vase, giving us a continuous flowering for the entire warm season until the first cold ones.
But the fact of having to fall back every year into the usual choice does not necessarily imply having to have a terrace every year, let's say monotonous: even choosing each year the same geraniums, reliable and inexpensive, we can make some variation by adding pot plants, just as do the bonsaists.
Often adding a small plant to a geraniums vase you get a decidedly more incisive and pleasant effect, without having to spend a capital and without having to give up the practicality and simplicity of cultivation of geraniums and petunias.

In the sun among the geraniums




The choice of plants with which to accompany our "prima donna" is surely limited and guided by the position of our terrace, if the geraniums prefer a decidedly sunny exposure, while the petunias tend to prefer a slightly more shaded exposure, not all plants can be placed in the sun for many hours a day.
In fact, often a good combination consists in placing some small petunias in the vase of geraniums, which fill the vase between the stems of geranium; this type of combination, however, is successful only if our terrace is not exposed to the sun for eight hours a day, but enjoys some cooling moment during the day.
In choosing the plants with which to accompany our geraniums we therefore remind you to ask our nurseryman if we can place them on our terrace, with its particular exposure.
Most of the plants available to accompany the geraniums actually love the sun enough, except for the petunias and the surfinie, which need a few hours of semi-shade, and of torenie, small ground-coverers that produce long trumpet flowers, in shades of purple , suitable for well shaded positions. Other shade plants are the dipladenias, which blend well with the zonal geraniums, in fact we can find on the market a variety of dipladenia called sundavilla, which grows very well even if placed in full sun.

Small daisies




Among the favorite plants to be placed among the geraniums, many produce small daisy-shaped flowers, they are usually preferred brachycome and felicia, small plants that produce a dense bush and countless small flowers, usually in shades of blue, a color that "is missing "in geranium varieties, excellent combination with white geraniums.
In addition to these there are dozens of varieties of daisies, of varying sizes and colors generally in shades of white and pink, the most widespread are the argyrantemi and the dimorfoteche, difficult names for plants that simo used to see every day in the flower beds of the parks citizens.

Small flowers




There are dozens of species of plants with small flowers suitable to be positioned with geraniums; yellow flowering plants are often preferred, as for blue-flowered daisies, often this occurs because there are no yellow geraniums, and therefore plants in contrasting colors are combined.
Typical, common, very widespread, but always the beautiful combination geranium bidens, or geranium lysymachia, or still calceolaria geranium: a large flower with bright shades; accompanied by small yellow flowers, with an inconspicuous vegetation, just a small brushstroke in contrasting color.
The plant producers then indulged in trying each year new plants with which to accompany the geraniums, from here various varieties of cuphea, agastache, agelonia, diascia: small flowers in spikes, throughout the summer. The ideal combination is with the hanging geraniums, which tend to produce a lot of hanging vegetation, leaving the vase almost empty: on the sides of the stem of geranium are placed these seedlings, which with their erect vegetation and the innumerable little flowers fill the vase.
Also widespread is the use, next to the zone geraniums but also of the petunias, of small plants with ground cover development, which in the vase tend to fall back, the most popular are bacopa and lobelia, suitable in particular on the balconies that are not affected by the rays of the sun throughout the day, especially the bacopa, which often needs good and frequent watering.
Another typical combination is that between geraniums and purslane, a small annual succulent, well suited for balconies to the sea or in sunny and windy areas where the water is a luxury.

Geraniums and leaves


In addition to combinations with other flowering plants, excellent geraniums are also leaf plants, especially also in the case of hanging geraniums; to fill and flourish the vase, around the stem of the geraniums, some varieties of morning glory are placed, with colored leaves, or the classic coleus, small annuals with foliage of the most disparate colors. To avoid that the coleus grow excessively in height let us remember to periodically remove the panicles of flowers, so as to keep the compact plant.
Resin is also widely used, a small annual with fiery red leaves, which stand out among the geranium plants.
In the nursery we can then find some varieties of plectranthus, often erroneously called incense, given the aroma given off by the leaves if they are wrinkled.
The breeders then also supply us with varieties of dark leaf oxalis, variegated nepeta, and other small plants with leaflets of a beautiful bright green.

On the balcony with geraniums: The classics


Classic balcony plants, to combine with geraniums and not, lantana and verben, a beautiful compact vegetation, trumpet flowers in bunches, various colors, from pure white to bright red, from lemon yellow to orange. Easy to cultivate, both lantana and verbena have always been very successful as terrace plants, try to place in a vase a beautiful pure white zonal geranium and a fiery red verbena, a guaranteed effect.
A few years ago, some species of solanum, which are easy to grow, are also very popular, often even in the harshest winter, if they are simply repaired in places far from freezing.