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!