Re: [IGS] census of interests

At 22:18 25-9-1998 -0700, you wrote:
>Hi Ingrid,
>I enjoyed your description of how Sweden has adopted and given names to
>geraniums, much like elves and trolls of the woods. While they bring good
>luck do some of them perform nasty tricks? But it is sad to hear that they
>are thrown away when the days grow dark and the weather turns cold. Who
>would do that to an elf?
>Now I know you have a kinder heart and hold on to your species pels for the
>winter because you tell us about artificial lighting. Do you have your own
>names for them? Some of them are like grizzled dwarves. And the scented
>types - do you grow them on to large size or take cuttings in autumn? I am
>sure you can find more evocative names than 'peppermint', 'lemon', 'citron'
>or 'rose'.
>>>>Pelargoniums are very much a part of the Swedish 'folk home' and Pels are
>>>>thought to bring good luck and are handed down. Some people grow their
>>>>pels with fierce protectiveness, other buy their new from the supermarket
>>>>each year and throw them away when Winter is near. The vareties offered in
>>>>the supermarket are often nameless...but the heirlooms are often given
>>>>Swedish names, their original names long forgotten. We have for instance a
>>>>variety called 'Maarbacka', which is pink and double. And did you know
>>>>that there are really a white Apple Blossom Rosebud in Sweden---virtually
>>>>forgotten elsewhere?
>>>>But Sweden as a nation has become conscious of the varieties for sale and
>>>>since joining the Common Market (EU) we now have access to 'everything'.
>>>>Good ol' varieties like Apple Blossom R, Lord Bute  are high in demand.
>>>>And scented....scenteds in heaps and droves! People who like herbs often
>>>>like scenteds too! And they look smashing in a pot on a porch or balcony!
>>>>It is as if they were made for containers :-)))))
>>>>A Pel Society has just been founded in I expect the interest
>>>>will grow and grow!
>Let's hope so too. Give them a Swedish character and interest will surely
>San Diego, California

Dear Pelly and Geranium Friends,

I found the census of interests quite interesting, but didn't have time to
give an idea of my own cravings, so to speak. 

My love for pellies was probably kindled by the fact that at home we always
had them on the balcony in summer, usually red or pink zonals with double or
single flowers. Later, after leaving home, I lived in on of the busy
shopping streets in Amsterdam and my only link with nature was then a
windowbox with pellies. 

Now I live in a terraced house in Alkmaar, with a small garden full of roses
and perennials, among which many geraniums (I guess about 20 varieties). My
favourites are G.psilostemon, G. sylvaticum 'Mayflower' and G. 'Ann
Folkard'. The latter has yellowish leaves, bright cyclamen pink flowers with
a black heart; it tends to weave upwards through other plants and flowers
for a long period, in any position.

Apart from all these outdoor plants I have a (small?) collection of about 70
pelargoniums. At the beginning I bought (frequently unnamed) plants wherever
I could get them. I usually found scenteds and angels. When I was in
Scotland I visited Culzean Castle and managed to buy cuttings of 'A Happy
Thought','Dolly Varden' and 'Mrs Strang'. Only the first of these is still
alive and kicking. Last year I discovered Fibrex Nurseries with its national
collection and bought some plants there.

Now I mainly collect fancy leaved pellies, zonals with odd flowers (esp.
striped or flecked), uniques and stellars. I have a few species and
scenteds, but only if they smell and look nice. I often find (sorry!) that
scenteds do not always smell according to the attractive sounding
description. I have difficulty, for example, in discovering what 'rose
scented' means in pellies, esp. as my garden is filled with wonderfully
perfumed roses. The scents just don't compare! 

A main frustration is having a plant that is obviously worthwhile but
incorrectly labelled. I have a wonderful unique, bought in Wales as 'Mrs
Kingsley', for example, which is not purple (as it should be) but more like
raspberry/strawberry ice. I'm keeping it, as a holiday memory and because it
is so beautiful, but it is frustrating. I wish there was more photomaterial
(like there is for fuchsias) to compare. Now you have to make do with the
odd book you can find,catalogues from nurseries or verbal descriptions.

As a last observation I would like to add that the cuttings I took in August
have not been very successful this year; I had to chuck ou about half of
them. Anyone else who had that experience this year?

Greetings from Alkmaar, Holland

Jip Bieräugel

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