There’s no shortage of hardy geraniums, cranesbills, in nurseries – in fact there are thousands. So a new one really has got to be good to be worth choosing over the best of those already available. And the strangely named ‘Blushing Turtle’ looks as if it might be up to the task.
Making a broadly mounded plant about 20in/50cm wide and 6in/15cm high, whose stems branch repeatedly to create a mass of dense growth, flowering is at its peak in June and then starts up again in September and continues until the frost.
Each small, 1.5in/3.5cm, prettily ruffled flower is vivid pink, boldly marked with an intricate network of darker, magenta pink veins. The mass of bloom is backed by neat, bright green, maple-shaped foliage which takes on bright autumnal colours late in the season.
This is a fine plant to use as ground cover in mixed borders and amongst roses; it is also ideal to trail over a retaining wall and would also make a lovely container plant.
‘Blushing Turtle’ was developed by Karin Kosick of Nanoose Bay, British Columbia, as part of a project to develop, drought tolerant, repeat flowering hardy geraniums with large flowers. It’s a hybrid between Geranium sanguineum and either Geranium × oxonianum ‘Julie Brennan’ or Geranium asphodeloides. Further research will doubtless reveal which. Originally sold as ‘Breathless’, and it may still occasionally be found under that name, but it turned out that it was illegal to use that name as it had been trade marked for another plant. So now it's 'Blushing Turtle'.
You can order Geranium ‘Blushing Turtle’ from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries and from Mr Fothergill.