Geranium maderense ‘Guernsey White’
My son Ric, who is the head gardener on the Cadogan Estate in London, sent me this photograph of Geranium maderense ‘Guernsey White’ which he flowered for the first time yesterday.
Geranium maderense, as the specific name implies, is native to the island of Madeira. I first saw it and was astonished by it when I saw it in flower thirty odd years ago in a glasshouse in the Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park.
The giant of the genus it stands near a metre tall when in it produces huge heads of large pink dark eyed flowers. The flower heads are so heavy that the deeply divided leaves splay outwards and press down onto the earth acting like flying buttresses on a Gothic cathedral.
On a south facing bank, just as you enter Lorne on the Great Ocean Road, is a beautiful patch of G. maderense which has seeded from a nearby garden.
G.m. ‘Guernsey White’ is a fairly new seed strain which produces large white flowers.
I planted a group a couple of years ago in a protected spot in the garden but either rabbits or hares found it to their taste. As soon as I have a spare moment I’ll plant one or two in large terracotta pots and stand them in a nicely shaded position.