Daily Flower Candy: Geranium ‘Rozanne’

I will admit to being underwhelmed when the RHS named Geranium ‘Rozanne’ their ‘Plant of the Centenary’ in 2013. The hardy perennial was chosen by RHS members from a list of 10 plants which included Russell Hybrid lupins, Rosa ‘Iceberg’, and Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’. All are charming, garden-worthy plants but don’t really set my pulse racing. To my mind, time and popularity has rendered them slightly passé. Each candidate was previously declared a ‘Plant of the Decade’ with G. ‘Rozanne’ claiming the title in the early noughties.

Now that I have had the opportunity to grow the plant in question I can better understand its appeal. Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is completely hardy and bears lovely mauve-blue flowers with paler centres non-stop from May until November, even December in a mild year. Right now, following a jolly good haircut in August, my plant is once again smothered in flowers. Her sprawling nature can be a blessing or a curse depending on where you position her – in my case much too near the edge of a narrow path – but this is a minor grumble. Any flowering plant that tolerates the shade and diabolical drainage in our London garden commands my immediate respect. I have Geranium ‘Rozanne’ planted with Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ (‘Plant of the Year’ in 2013) and Tiarella cordifolia, which is a lovely, low maintenance combination.

I am still not convinced a ‘Plant of the Centenary’ is a distinction of very much value to gardeners. The plant world has so much bounty to offer it is surely impossible to consider any one plant head and shoulders above the rest? And if our hands were forced, I am pretty sure we’d all choose differently; a plant that spoke to us somehow, that responded to our tender loving care. But if a plant had to win, then Geranium ‘Rozanne’ was a well-deserving, forgiving, timeless plant that one could never go wrong with.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is widely available in nurseries and garden centres.

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13 thoughts on “Daily Flower Candy: Geranium ‘Rozanne’

  1. I have been growing Rozanne for a number of years now. It has overwintered beautifully after some extremely nasty winters. It blooms its head off for months on end, however I just don’t seem to “see” it. It is there, but my eyes are not drawn to it. There may be 200 flowers in front of me and I will say “there is nothing blooming in my garden right now”. I don’t know if it is the colour that just doesn’t attract my eye, or what the problem is. The poor thing performs its hardest for me without any respect whatsoever.

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  2. I will sing the praises of Rozanne. Not that I think she’s the most beautiful, or the most graceful or a plant that I’d use as a focal point, but being an estate gardener, a plant like Rozanne is a godsend. A plant that will take just about anything you throw at it, and still bloom and grow for 7 months or more is a great plant. Harsh mid-western United States winters (two very harsh winters, even for us, in a row) are no problem. Unrelenting heat and high humidity with drought for months on end – no problem. She is a wonder. Not only does she survive all this, but she consistently performs and looks unscathed, smothering herself in her beautiful blue flowers and unblemished foliage. All she needs is a haircut now and then and she’s right back at it. I love her.

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    1. There speaks an expert. Thanks Dean. I am sure followers of this blog will appreciate your commendation. With your climate being much more extreme than Southern England you have been able to give Rozanne a thorough test drive. It’s funny to think she came about as a natural cross, discovered in a Somerset garden, later to find International fame!

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  3. I like to fill my beds with plants and not mulch…
    In one of the woodland beds where the evergreen vinca thrives,
    I interplant it with Roxanne.
    In a sunny area I fill in-between the shrubs with pachysandra.
    And I interplant that pachysandra with pink Onothera.
    And how that onothera spreads and you have an entire bed of soft pink.
    I garden in Pennsylvania.

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  4. I must admit I was totally underwhelmed when I heard about Roxanne winning this prize. Although I do not have anything against her per se (she is very pretty) and I love geraniums, it was a little surprising. I wonder what the criteria were? If reliable, long-flowering and steadfast were the tick boxes I suppose she would win. If drop-dead gorgeous, “stop you in your tracks” lovely, “walk into a lamp post” beautiful were essential factors I can’t quite see her fitting the bill. The trouble with us is that we love the divas!

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