This year I have been seduced by the delicate Geum; sister to the flashy potentilla and the delicious strawberry. Although this genus does have its brash and forthright members, yes I’m talking about you Lady Strathenden and Mrs Bradshaw, it is the more subtle members that have charmed me this season.
Geum rivale “Album”, the British native Avens, was a gift from Phlomis Flo last year and on a recent visit to her garden my jackdaw eyes spied some other rather lovely specimens in shades of tangerine and apricot. I hope my little hints “OH, I LOVE THAT ONE, I REALLY, REALLY WISH I HAD THAT ONE!!!!!!!” hit home, who can say? This generous offering has settled well into its new home, more than doubling in size, and is exquisite in an understated but charming way. Shy hanging bells of greenish white are held on long stems above the scalloped foliage. At a time of year when every flower is embraced, it is as worthy a garden member as you could find.
Another geum that is going from strength to strength in the garden is Geum “Pink Frills”. This plant was a sitting tenant when I arrived at Cliffe and I must admit it took a little warming to. As I have since become inflicted with Barbaracartlanditis I now welcome its spring display with dark pink stems and calyx presenting the peachy ruffled flowers. There must be a pill, surely? Or therapy? A self-help group?