At some point in a gardener’s education, whether through book-learnin’ or in the school-of-hard-clay-soil-and-dead-plants, a gardener will learn or be told that what they call “geraniums” are not the true geraniums, they are Pelargoniums.
But the name “geranium” is so associated with Pelargoniums, that we are all forced to go around and call the other Geraniums, the real ones, the “true geraniums”, just in case someone mistakenly thinks we are talking about Pelargoniums when we are talking about Geraniums, the real ones. Or we could call the true Geraniums false pelargoniums, but that seems to be sort of like putting plastic flowers in your garden, as does calling the Pelargoinums “false geraniums”, even though there are other flowers we call false, like false forget-me-not’s, false indigo, and false sunflowers, to name three very quickly, that have nothing to do with plastic flowers.
With me so far? We should really make an effort, start a movement, to get rid of all this true and false flower naming business and call a flower by it’s true name. Who’s with me? I suppose The Society could take up this cause. I’ll ask the president and see what she thinks. After all, when last The Society met, they were considering a name change of their own, a cause which has been abandoned because really, is there a name better than the Society for the Preservation and Propagation of Old-Time Gardening Wisdom, Lore, and Superstition (SPPOTGWLS or “the Society”).
Anyway, whatever you call them, you ought to make a little room in your garden for Geraniums, the “true geraniums”, which by the way are also known as “cranesbill”, a common name probably used by gardeners who have already decided to avoid “true and false” names.
They might be the smartest gardeners.
So out of respect for those gardeners who have abandoned all the true and false names, here are some cranesbills in my garden today.
Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Karmina’
Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’
Geranium passalongia ‘Sister Who Does Not Garden’
Geranium notagia ‘Why Did I Buy A Plant With No Tag’.
In my defense, I did ask about this cranesbill before I bought it and they told me it was called something that sounded like it started with “sam”. But when I did some online searches, I came up with nothing. It has pretty leaves, though, don’t you think?