Way back in the mists of time – yes, the 20th century (1998 I think) I bought some scented pelargoniums from the National Herb Centre.
If you have never been there and are in striking distance of Banbury it is well worth a visit, whether you are a keen gardener or not. It has herbs that you never dreamed of for both medicinal and cooking uses as well as native plants and shrubs. They also have an excellent cafe.
On one visit there I bought three scented pelargoniums (geraniums). One pepper scented, one rose scented and one lemon scented. I love the perfumes they give off as you brush past them so always have the pots close to a path or doorway. The leaves are also good for drying to use in scent pillows or similar.
For the past two years, however, my three plants have put on plenty of growth but not flowered well, which is a sure sign that they are reaching the end of their life span.
On retrieving them from winter storage it was even more obvious that they were no longer thriving. Perhaps due to a mixture of their age and the past winter reaching into the shed’s sheltered space they were on their last roots. Hardly surprising since I had lost all of my decorative pelargoniums in the same space to the frost!
Fortunately I have got into the habit of taking cuttings in the autumn before storing the mother plants ‘just in case’, which is how I have the ‘same’ plants after all these years. They were not inexpensive when bought but have earned their keep a dozen times over in that time.
These cuttings have been sitting in the conservatory since late October and were potted on in march, when it was obvious they had not only rooted but started to flower!
With great reluctance I sent the old plants to the ‘great compost heap’ and potted on their progeny.
Most years the new plants end up being given away. This year some of those cuttings will be out for sale at the Limes Allotment plant sale this weekend but the chosen few are already flowering away in the Courtyard Garden and hopefully continue their line for many more years to come.
I loved the rose scented cutting you gave me but it sadly succumbed to the frost last winter.
I will see if any of the ones I put out for the sale are rose scented and save one for you – or take some cuttings. They do need to be taken in for winter as they don’t like frost at all.