Hi. We're Katie and Paul and we would like to ask if you're a "fan" of pelargoniums. We work in the Propagation Department at Wisley (Katie is a trainee, Paul is a long-standing member of staff having once been a trainee but now has many years experience - you can see us in Figure 4 below).
Fancy a bit of the Mediterranean in your life? A profusion of incredible scent and colour are on show in the Pelargonium display at Wisley. It is on for six weeks from May 4th - come now to see it at its best! (*****Now on until 23 June****)
There are five types of Pelargonium on display:
1. Zonal varieties - so called because of the rings of colouration on their leaves
2. Unique varieties
3. Regal varieties - so called because of their beautiful, blowsy flowers
4. Scented varieties
Figure 1 The zonal display stand
Figure 2 The unique Pelargonium stand
Figure 3 The regal Pelargonium stand
Figure 4 The scented Pelargonium stand, with Paul and Katie
But we said five types (were you paying attention?) and have only mentioned four so far. So what happened to the fifth type of Pelargonium on display?
One of the highlights is the fan-trained pelargoniums; an art originating from the Victorian era. Cuttings were taken August 2011 and the young plants were trained in March 2012, with desirable stems being tied in. Any unwanted stems were pruned back to the next shoot or hard pruned to the base. The supporting framework was created from green metal canes tied together with wire. Peat-free compost was used in a 25 litre pot for the display. Plants were kept at a constant temperature of 14 degrees Celsius throughout growth. They can be given a high nitrogen feed for growth and one high in potash for flowering. Antik Series cultivars were used for the display but any tall vigorous varieties will do well. Give it a try!
Figure 5 The fan-shaped/espalier-trained pelargoniums
If we've tempted you, find out more about the fascinating world of pelargoniums and what you can do with them.