My Ugly Geraniums

TALKING TO MYSELF 29 June 2013  Some years ago in their callow and less tactful youth, my daughter and her husband dismissed my annual geranium extravaganza as “too 1970’s.” Before they brought it to my attention, I’d had no idea geraniums were as out of style as harvest gold kitchen appliances. Out of loyalty and respect for their tenacity, I’d been planting them every spring since – well, the 1970s.  I admired their will to live and bloom outrageously despite my nonchalant approach to horticulture. Big and colorful, they were the brassy trumpets leading my garden parade.


For me, they also conjured up Norman Rockwell images of 19th century houses framed by white picket fences. Where others saw the orange Formica reflection of the Brady Bunch in my geraniums pots, I glimpsed the golden age of America’s small towns.  

Now I realize I owe my daughter and son-in-law an apology. In today’s Lexington Herald – Leader, I’ve learned that despite my perennial enthusiasm for geraniums, many big-time, famous garden designers consider them “ugly”- even "vulgar" -  and definitely out of fashion. Not to fear, however. Horticulturists are bringing back this out of favor flower with new and improved strains that even a snob can love. Read about the up and coming new varieties here: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/06/29/2697161/new-hybrid-brings-out-the-bes...

I cannot resist pointing out that the article says Thomas Jefferson, that epitome of refined aesthetics, introduced the geranium to America during his years at the White House. I rest my case.  

©Copyright Georgia Green Stamper 2013