I think everyone knows about Geranium ‘Rozanne’ by now but I’ve often wondered where it came from. It arose in 1989 as a seedling in the Somerset garden of Donald and Rozanne Waterer, the parents being the early-flowering G. himalayense and the later and freely-flowering G. wallichianum ‘Buxton’s Variety’. The Waterers were keen gardeners and knew that it was special. It was a stronger grower, with larger leaves and flowers and came back the following year, flowering non-stop from June until the first hard frosts in November. Taking advice from Graham Stuart Thomas they contacted Adrian Bloom in 1991 to see if he would trial and introduce it. Over the years it has exceeded expectations, proving to be hardy, heat-tolerant and long-flowering. And I think it must be in every garden in the land.
It forms a mound of lobed and divided foliage before the flowers appear. The bowl-shaped flowers are blue to violet-blue, depending on age and exposure to sunlight, with a white centre, and appear from early summer to the first frosts. G. ‘Rozanne’ will grow well on a variety of soils, in sun or partial shade where it is not too dry. When grown well it can reach 60 to 90 cm in height and about 1m across.
On the Bressingham Gardens website, Adrian Bloom suggests various ways to grow Geranium ‘Rozanne’, in containers, hanging baskets, window-boxes, as flowering ground cover or try it as a ‘river’. A what? A river? What a brilliant idea! Given enough space and the right setting I can imagine how fabulous that would be. Adrian says he has produced them here and in other parts of the world. If you have the room and fancy making one make sure you invite us all to see it!
Whether we have one or two plants or a whole river, we know that Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is deserving of its place at Number 4 in our Top 30.