Geraniums

May 24, 2011

We’ve been trying to adopt French traditions where possible. One of our favorites is growing potted geraniums in the windows. We’ve seen them brightening homes all over France. They look so cheery!

This was an easy tradition for us to adopt, because I’ve always favored geraniums to greet visitors.

Do you keep potted flowers? Do you have a favorite flower to grow?

 

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maria @ Busy as a Bee in Paris May 24, 2011 at 2:48 am

I LOVE geraniums! There is just something about the fragrance that reminds me of my childhood, my Mexican grandma and my mom, although I’m not sure why! And they are so rustic and European village-y, love ‘em! Think I’ll go buy me some ;) I haven’t gotten any yet this year!

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2 Design Mom May 24, 2011 at 2:57 am

How fun that you connect them to your childhood, Maria. I hope my kids will do the same. : )

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3 From Belgium May 24, 2011 at 3:06 am

Geraniums and Petunias, preferably the kind that hangs down in big flowery curtains. I love those.

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4 mike March 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Can you put me in touch with a grower of red geraniums i want 250
deliverd to france

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5 k a t y May 24, 2011 at 4:30 am

Well, I’ll take most any flower from azalea to zinnia, but I have to say that even the pots look sexier in France.

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6 Design Mom May 24, 2011 at 6:12 am

Hah! So true. You can imagine my delight when I found stacks of weathered terracotta pots in one of the barns.

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7 Jill V. / TerraSavvy May 24, 2011 at 5:51 am

Every year I get a few for my back deck to add color and brighten up the space. I was planning on getting mine this weekend.

I prefer the red ones to any other color! So bright and summery.

Thanks for sharing yours!

Jill

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8 Design Mom May 24, 2011 at 6:17 am

Red is my favorite too!

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9 Sarah May 24, 2011 at 6:21 am

I also love just about every flower, and spring time make me so happy! this year I’m really loving our irises (not generally my favorite). they are bulbs my grandfather gave us from his beautiful garden when they moved into assisted living two years ago. I worried that I didn’t transplant them well, but this year they are out of control with huge, shocking purple and white blooms.

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10 tchouckinette May 24, 2011 at 6:39 am

I have tried many varieties of flowers on my window … But geraniums are the only ones keeping up with my gardener’s skills ;)

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11 kpriss May 24, 2011 at 6:40 am

Hm. I have yet to tame the pots around the house.. I love flowers, I really do, but I prefer them growing in the garden instead of pots around the house or around the porch. Sure, they work wonders for the decor, but when we would have to go somewhere for a few days, it would break my heart to see them dying .

On the way geraniums and azaleas look, I have to agree with you, they’re incredible! Like a spell on a dull facade!

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12 Colleen May 24, 2011 at 6:52 am

I love your blog and find some many interesting things to think about. We go to Europe often and learned that geraniums are put in the window boxes as a natural deterrent to keep flies from crossing the window threshold. Note that your windows have no screens. The geraniums keep out the unwanted bugs!
Colleen

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13 Bonnie May 24, 2011 at 6:52 am

My father was in the military. When I was a child, we lived in Italy for almost two years. We had red geraniums by the front door. Whenever I see red geraniums, I think of our home and our wonderful time in Italy.

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14 Design Mom May 24, 2011 at 6:56 am

What a sweet memory, Bonnie!

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15 Sarah @ Two Tarts May 24, 2011 at 7:27 am

My grandparents lived in Switzerland for many years, and brought home the tradition of window boxes full of red geraniums…so geraniums remind me of my grandparents & their pretty A-frame house. Oh, and I love the smell of the leaves!

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16 Dee May 24, 2011 at 7:43 am

I have potted geraniums, snapdragons, and this year I am growing ranunculus (my favorite flower) for the first time in pots!

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17 Design Mom May 24, 2011 at 7:56 am

I’m so jealous! I bought a whole bunch of ranunculus this year and planted them in a border and I haven’t managed to keep a single one alive. My green thumb is not that green, I guess. : )

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18 Kristen E May 24, 2011 at 8:12 am

I’m usually horrible with growing flowers, but I can always keep geraniums alive. They remind me of my mom – she always has a pot or two of geraniums on the front porch! Last year I saw a gorgeous salmon-colored geranium that I fell in love with – I think it’s my new favorite! I haven’t planted mine yet this year, but I’m hoping to find that salmon color again!

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19 Emily Price May 24, 2011 at 8:54 am

I love geraniums too! Red is my favorite. I have three pots of red in my front yard and three pots of bright pink in my backyard. I love them because they are pretty, and hardy. They can withstand the Utah heat, and are quite forgiving if I forget to water. They also last from spring until fall.

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20 Design Mom May 24, 2011 at 8:56 am

Yes! They’re such good sports when we take weekend trips and can’t water. : )

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21 r8chel May 24, 2011 at 9:49 am

I’ve never been a big fan of geraniums for some reason, but your geraniums in the weathered terracotta pots look nice. :)

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22 hyzen May 24, 2011 at 10:24 am

The windowsill geraniums are a big thing in Switzerland, too–it is such a simple and pretty thing to do that I wanted to bring the practice home with me, as well. And I love how hardy they are! I put a single geranium plant in small planters on either side of my front door last year, and they kept their bright red flowers all summer, despite embarrassingly little watering (they were under the porch roof, so they got no water unless I gave it to them). I didn’t know they were to help keep bugs out–I wonder how well it works? Now that the weather has been nice, we’ve been leaving our back door open sometimes so that kids and dogs can wander in and out at will, and we already have more flies and other such insects in the house than I’d like. Maybe it’s expecting too much of geraniums to guard the whole door, though….

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23 Sarah May 24, 2011 at 10:57 am

Nasturtium. They are wonderful, colorful, and edible! EASY to grow, and they like to be ignored, and don’t bloom if you fertilize too much! Most varieties flower in red, yellow, orange or a combination all summer long.

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24 Design Mom May 24, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I never eat flowers, but I love the idea of having edible ones around! : )

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25 Cathi May 24, 2011 at 11:14 am

We love geraniums!
Shhh! I’m even guilty of breaking off a geranium stem in a parking lot or the front of a shop and sticking it in a pot at home. (hanging head low)
They grow beautifully and add so much color to our yard! I’m sneaking your window idea! We’ve have some lovely old pots that will look wonderful on one of our front windows! ;D

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26 jeri May 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm

ooh yes, I am also guilty of snapping off random stems like the Cathi from the above comment! Geraniums are so easy to propagate and grow like crazy (at least here in Los Angeles). Just snap off a stem and stick in a pot. Sometimes i use a rooting powder, sometimes not . Same with all succulents – aloe, jade plants – so easy. Also trying my hand at more petulant plants (gardenias, hydrangeas, hostas) so gratifying when they actually grow/thrive!

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27 jen May 24, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Oh my lands! Red geraniums are a must by the front door. We’ve had so much going on this year, that I was afraid that I would not get around to potting them and putting them out to greet visitors . . . so I asked my husband/children to plant them for me for Mother’s Day! I think that is going to have to be a tradition here now! Now not only to my red geraniums greet our guests, they remind me that I am loved!

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28 Erin R May 25, 2011 at 8:48 am

I work at a nursery and am loving the varieties of red geraniums with variegated leaves. I have a potted rose scented geranium in the house. We use the leaves to flavor short bread cookies and homemade ice ream!

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29 Laura M May 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Your geraniums are very pretty. I’ve always loved the traditional red color! But I think they smell bad! :) As a kid, I remember running past the geraniums and getting a funny smell. At least they’re pretty! :) I hope to plant some Impatience this year.

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30 Kelly May 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I’m smiling – my Mom has always kept potted geraniums in the window. The smell reminds me of childhood (and a good one at that!).

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31 Jill Di Pietro May 26, 2011 at 4:58 am

A home in our neighbor hood has potted red geraniums on their doorstep. I can’t take my eyes off it every time I drive by. I planted a red geranium in my backyard this year and it has slowly died. Apparently they like acidic soil, and ours here is very alkaline. Probably would’ve done better in the pot!

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32 La Franglaise May 26, 2011 at 8:05 am

As I’ve said once before on your blog, I love how you point out what I don’t see as a born and bread English girl in France. It’s true that the French also geranium obsessed. In fact I have loads on my balcony!

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33 bdaiss May 26, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Reminds me of my Grandma! I always think I should grow more geraniums…but I never do. Perhaps I’ll pick a few up this weekend!

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