Carpets of joy

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Geranium incanum

Often adopting a boisterous climbing habit and sprawling through scrub, Geranium incanum spreads and forms a dense mauve blanket about 300 mm thick and up to 40 cm high. Hence its common name: carpet geranium.

The floral purple masses are aflame in borders, containers, hanging baskets, rock gardens, over pathways and trailing up walls or garden ornaments. They’re pretty neat as cut flowers too. By contrast, the finely divided leaves adorn the garden with a soft texture.

Although carpet geraniums flower almost all-year round, their exultant peak is in spring and summer. They can be grown in full sun or semi-shade, but do flower more profusely in full sun.

Propagating Geranium incanum from both seed and cuttings is as easy as pie. Sow seed in spring or autumn onto a well-prepared seedling medium in trays. Once you start watering, don’t allow the trays to dry out. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant them into containers.

Interestingly, this plant is also known as Vrouetee or Bergtee. Reason being that the leaves are used to make a traditional medicinal tea for relief from bladder infections, venereal diseases and certain menstruation conditions.