What Could Have Been: Fancy Leaf Geraniums (Pelargoniums)

The cultivar's playground was uniquely adapted to evolving the plain natural pelargonium into a bewildering profusion of different forms - through simple vegetative reproduction or the random surprise of cross pollination. 

Once popular, the art of playing with the Divine by creating different forms of pelargoniums has been lost from time to time. It was briefly rediscovered in the 20th century. But then, attempts by some, including Jean Llewellyn of the Australian Geranium Society, to map the enormous spread of the variations rained naught but tears. The ordinary gardener is no less confused: are these geraniums or pelargoniums? When it comes to multicolored leaves,  are we playing with fancy, zonals or colored leaf varieties? Perhaps, simpler, are these bicolors, or tricolors or something more difficult - golds, silvers, bronzes?

Only this i know. Once each unique plant was named by the gardener who found and nurtured their amazing new creation. Friends and others took note of and honored the name. And as each wave of gardeners have left for the stars, those names and the story of how the form was created has faded from memory. Drought and hard frost, the cold indifference of the ages leave the glorious creations shriveled, white-fly infested and dead in cracked pots. 

Time to say goodbye - but wait. In the forests around, the small original plain natural plants still live - waiting to be brought forth and the hidden beauty within reinvented.

And, what could have been, will be again.

This year's blooms:














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