Summer Tryouts – Geranium ‘Dragon Heart’

Hybridized by Alan Bremner of Scotland, a hybrid of the Armenian cranesbill, Geranium psilostemon, which in itself is a big plant, if of abbreviated bloom duration according to the books. I’ve never grown the species. The selections generally tend toward addressing issues of size, heading toward the more compact and extending the bloom period. But in searching for information online, over and over I find “monster” used to describe ‘Dragon Heart,’ so I’m assuming compact it is not. I’ve got two clumps planted spring 2009 that have started blooming again this past April and now are wending their way up, through, and into nearby plants, much as Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ used to do for me but lacking AF’s chartreusiness of leaf. This exploratory trait of the trailing geraniums is off-putting to some people, who see the stay-put clumpers as a safer bet, but these magenta-petaled, black-eyed beauties can have free rein of my little garden.

Here ‘Dragon Heart’ explores a nearby yucca.


I like the annual grass Briza maxima’s fresh looks, clumping up through the geranium.


Last year was a bit of a melee. It’s not very sensible to include too many summer tryouts each year, but being sensible requires…what’s that quality called? Tip of my brain…oh, yes, self-restraint. Except for the shrubs, this central border gets almost completely reworked every year. More self-seeding grasses, purple orach, poppies, verbascum, etc., are being encouraged. By May the soil is barely visible, the tipping point indicating summer has arrived and tryouts are effectively open for 2010. It’s always exhilarating to find new perennials that manage in zone 10 low winter chill conditions and to establish little colonies of the self-sowing plants that reappear each year in new and interesting combinations.

‘Dragon Heart’ pulled July 2011. Big leaves always burned, soil too dry. ‘Ann Folkard’ much better performer in zone 10.

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2 Responses to Summer Tryouts – Geranium ‘Dragon Heart’

  1. Beautiful photos! I’m loving the Briza grass mingling with other plants…and the geranium snuggling up with the yucca – gorgeous!

  2. I really, really like the Dragon Heart, its a wonderfully quaint little Geranium

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