Seed Swaps

Growing 'Cranesbills' for the first time



Folia Helper

United Kingdom8a

This year I’m growing ‘Cranesbills’ (Hardy Geraniums) for the first time ever! But this was just an accident as I actually wanted to grow Strawberries!

I hear you say “how can anyone mistake Hardy Geraniums (Cranesbills) for Strawberries?” Well the story goes like this: I invited my brother to have lunch with us one Sunday, back in March I think, as he is as keen of gardening as I am we got to talking about our plants & I mentioned that I had seen young Strawberry plants for sale in a shop in town & I was thing of getting a couple of packs. He then said “Don’t do that, I can get you some free plants from the nursery”. (He works part time at a nursery) The following day he texted me to say he had got 6 plants for me & we agreed where to pick them up from. When I picked them up they seemed strange Strawberry plants to me. At home I took them out of their pots & cleaned away all dead & dying foliage & then planted them in the 2 big black hanging baskets he also gave me a year or two before. Again I thought these are the strangest Strawberry plants I’ve ever seen. But they maybe Alpine Strawberries I thought!

About 2 weeks ago I noticed there were buds forming, once again they seemed the weirdest of flower buds for Strawberries! A few days later the first flower opened & I immediately realised they were ‘Cranesbills’ & not Strawberries! A day or two later I texted my brother to tell him that the “Strawberry plants” he had got for me had the strangest flower I’d ever seen on a Strawberry! I’d never seen pink flowered Strawberries before! He had no answer for that! The following weekend he again came for lunch & I showed him the “Strawberries” with their pink flowers he had given me – he was so surprised he didn’t know what to say only that somebody at the nursery had made a mistake!

I then told him they were "Cranesbill’ or Hardy Geraniums he was speechless! But after looking at the plants more closely for a minute or two he had to admit that they were indeed ‘Cranesbills’ & not Strawberries!

Here’s a photo of the “strawberries” in hanging baskets on the balcony taken on the first day of June 2018:

It looks like I’ll have to wait at least another year before I can pick my own strawberries from the balcony!

Posted 16 days ago

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