Last spring, “Rozanne,” if you remember, got to be in the limelight. Actually a hardy geranium, “Rozanne” was named, based on the merits, the “2008 Perennial Plant of the Year” by The Perennial Plant Association. And it sure has lived up to the gardeners’ expectation, for in our garden while most of the summer-blooming perennials have just about passed their peak, “Rozanne” is still blooming, bearing flowers that are lovely as ever, without having asked for any special care all summer long.
Not to be confused with the annual geranium, Pelargonium sp., a staple of the summer gardens, “Rozanne,” a perennial geranium or cranesbill, as commonly called, is the result of a cross between two species of geraniums: Geranium himalayense and Geranium wallichianum, ‘Buxton’s Variety.’
Growing barely to approximately 20 inches in height with almost a similar spread, the clump-forming compact plants are perfect as a ground cover, in rock gardens, and in containers and window boxes as well. From late spring onwards, accompanied by dark green deeply lobed foliage, the long-season bloomer bears, on wiry stems that sway with the slightest breeze, violet-blue flowers highlighted with contrasting white centers and purple veins. Whereas the flowers are quite delicate in appearance, the plants, however, are not demanding at all, so much so that I can’t remember watering on a regular basis the small patch we began last year from one single plant. As a matter of fact, “Rozanne” is considered to be one of those perennial geraniums that are noted for their heat and drought tolerance.
Free from diseases and pests and hardy zones 5-8, plants do prefer well-drained soil and plenty of sun, but some shade in areas where the afternoon sun tends to be hot. I have planted ours at a spot where there is ample sun in the morning, but not as much rest of the day.
“Rozanne” truly is a delightful addition in any garden.