Pelargonium ‘Chocolate Mint’

For eating, it’s dark chocolate, please, and hold the mint.

For the 5×5 plot of ground under the Chinese Fringe tree, Chionanthus retusus, this Chocolate Mint will do.

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Thought to be a sport of P. tomentosum. The small white flowers have been sacrificed, since I’m already
snipping the ends off runners to keep it from becoming scraggly and to contain it in its allotted space.
That remarkable dark splotch will probably fade once the fringe tree has leafed out and cast its shade
and the cooler weather gives way to the warmth of summer.

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But what’s really remarkable is that I’ve let one plant, and an ordinary one at that, do the job and have not
sandwiched ten in that small space to fight and cancel out each other’s potential. This burly pelargonium
has grown up and through the carpet of leaves left in situ and will manage through the minimal irrigation it
will receive in summer, a Persian carpet of green and red. The air space between the pelargonium and the
bottom of the tree canopy is a sculptural prize not to be ruined by the intrusion of fussy planting.
(It wouldn’t hurt to remove the Christmas lights now either.)

At one point, I had two roses, ‘Mme Alfred Carriere’ and ‘Elie Beauvillain’ to climb up the tree, bulbs, heucheras and
who knows what else. The outline of the tree was ruined, and it was a ghastly mess of ripening bulb foliage and
small-leaved plants that couldn’t compete with the fringe tree’s leaf litter. (Full disclosure: There remains a
golden-leaved silver lace vine, Polygonum aubertii, planted under the tree, at the fence line. And that’s it, I swear.)

I think I just may be getting the hang of this gardening thing. It’s a matter of simple math. Divide desire by ten.

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2 Responses to Pelargonium ‘Chocolate Mint’

  1. Jess says:

    Found you on blotanical. Beautiful pictures and writing. Looking forward to more!

  2. admin says:

    Thanks, Jess. I haven’t fully explored Blotanical yet and mean to check out more of the blogs. Glad you found me!

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