An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

June 5, 2009

High Geraniums

Several years ago at the garden center, I overheard two elderly sisters speaking with each other. One appeared to be more of a gardener than the other and was explaining the difference between "high geraniums" and "low geraniums".

"High geraniums are shrubs. You remember momma had blue ones growin' in the shade out by the shed in the back yard".

"Low geraniums are red and orange and you gotta bring 'em in fo' the winter".

She may have had the names confused, but at least she knew where they should be grown. My own "high geraniums" are just coming into full bloom this week.

Hydrangea macrophylla var. serrata 'Kiyosumi'
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Mariesii Variegata'
The next four are two different varieties from the Halo Series, but unfortunately I did not know which two they were when I planted them. All of the varieties in this series have petals with a white "halo".

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Glory Blue'

I did not plant this one, it just sort of appeared and it's name is unknown.
Hydrangea macrophylla var. serrata 'Blue Bird'
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Sun Goddess'
I also have planted a couple of "low geraniums" which I will be sure to bring in before the winter. This is Pelargonium x hortorum 'Indian Dunes' and ...
... Pelargonium x hortorum 'Mrs. Pollack'.


  1. I am so glad to see your Veri Hyd. I have 2 of them, planted last fall and they look good, but no blooms yet. I love them and have 5-6 different kinds, yours are lovely. I have some of the fancy ones too, but when people visit they oooh and awe over my good old Nikko Blue (thats pink for me) that I bought for $5.00! Lol... Yours are so lovely. ~Brooke

  2. Only in VA!!!! Can totally imagine hearing a comment like that up here in Chincoteague, too!

  3. That is the funniest thing I have heard all week! You have some beauties there!! Diana

  4. That is pretty neat about the names. I've never heard that before. Your 'high geraniums' are great. Especially the pink lined one.

  5. I had never heard of the high Geraniums (nor low for htat matter). My hydrangeas are coming into full glory now as well. If you haven't already - check out my lacecaps! I believe they are 'Bluebird', also have some Nikko Blue out front, that have needed some additional Aluminun Sulfate.

  6. What a quaint way to describe two completely different plants. ;) Your Hydrangeas are looking wonderful, I think 'Little Honey' would be a great addition to your collection Les.

  7. Maybe this is what my 88 year old great aunt is calling them! I've always thought she was saying "hygeraniums" - too funny!

  8. I love hydrangeas! I only have a couple different ones sofar, but have plenty of space in the shade left to plant more.

  9. Wow! You're killing me with that stunning variegated hydrangea! I have none (yet), but that one just went to the top of my plant wishlist. I appreciate all the ones blooming around the Finger Lakes, NY, especially the tall, fall-blooming paniculatas.

  10. Precious that they called them high and low. Sounds like a southern mix of names in to one. I'm not at all surprised. Several situations like that come lovingly to my mind. It's just our way isn't it? Your hydrangeas are so unique. Love the variegated one. The blue is so pretty.

  11. Love those "geraniums", in any incarnation. I still have in my greenhouse (and garden - it returns every year as an herbaceous perennial, for some reason) what was purchased at a flea market as a "pinecone geranium" in pre-Disney Florida on a family vacation (must have been the early 70's!); it's actually Justicia (aka Jacobinia) carnea...

  12. This has been the most beautiful "high geranium" year in the garden. Plenty of spring rain and cooler weather......i see it is so for you as well...

  13. CCM,
    I got you beat, my Glory Blue cost me all of $1! Thanks for stopping by.

    Island Gardener,
    Welcome to my blog. Chincoteague is one of my favorite places on the planet.

    Garden Goddess,
    I am glad you got a laugh out of it.

    I like the fact that the pink ones have white on them, but I can't wait until they go blue or purple.

    Yes I did see your up close lace caps - very nice!

    I got some very small pots of Little Honey in at work for $10.99. I just don't know if I want to start so small.

    It could be your great aunt was my customer - or not.

    I couldn't have a garden without them.

    My guess would be that you would have difficulty growing the variegated one in your part of NY. They are weak compared to other varieties. I did just this spring find a variegated H. paniculata that should grow for you.

    It is indeed our way. Sometimes its like living in a novel down here.

    Maybe when you have time and feel inspired you can share some photos of your Justicia and dust off your blog.

    Yes this has been a good year for them. So far we are at normal rainfall levels. I hope that continues into the summer.


  14. Your hydrangeas are beautiful. I only have three and they are not blooming yet. Two of them I moved this past winter so I don't expect them to bloom this year. They were in need of a better location so I dug them and moved them adding fresh rich soil. So maybe next year they will bloom for me(-:

  15. That is a funny story. That is a great collection of Hydrangeas. Ours won't be out for a couple of weeks. The plants are budded and my bud 'forecast' (:lol:) is for a pretty good year of flowers after a rough winter.

  16. Funny, I remember calling them that as I saw growing up in eastern NC.

  17. I thought they only said that in Mississipppi. I just wrote a High-Geranium post at my blog (
    Too funny!