Meet Geum

South Delta Garden Club weekly column

Dainty but tough - Geum is the perfect perennial to use in containers as well as in garden beds.

It's slug-proof and reputedly rabbits don't eat it. Buy it once, plant it in potting soil once, water it fertilize it occasionally, and you will enjoy years of performance from it.

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Geum disappears in November into a heap of dried leaves. Cut them off or leave them to protect the soil from rain run-off. New leaves emerge in late March.

By early May, buds appear, opening into many-petalled flowers. The flowers bloom for about two months, into end-June if protected from harsh noon sun. Then snip off the flower stems and enjoy the lush mound of vivid chisel-edged green leaves until frost.

Geum is a lovely green spacer in summer flower beds.

Or, buy the newer Geum 'Totally Tangerine' if you can find it.

Totally tangerine was the big hit at London's Chelsea Flower Show in 2010. She is a bit taller than the average Geum, about 90 cm/34 in., and blooms almost continuously from April to September.

Geum's flowers come in a range of colours - white, yellow, gold, orange, red, and pastel shades of cream, blush, apricot, peach.

Editor’s note: The South Delta Garden Club is providing a weekly article to the Optimist, which will appear on-line on the Optimist website every Tuesday.

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