container gardens
Geraniums Galore

   Among desirable singles, consider the carmine Barbara Hope, the cherry-red to white Apple Blossom, the creamy coral Ecstasy, the scarlet to wine-red Nuit Poitevine, and the light orchid-pink Helen Van Pelt Wilson. All are so beautiful, they should be planted where they can easily be seen.

   Variegated geraniums, with leaves that are often brilliantly colored, are attractive even out of bloom. Indeed, some feel, as I do, that flowers detract from the foliage. Among the best are Mrs. Cox, vermillion and purple, with an edging of yellow; Miss Burdett Coutts, purple-zoned and pink-splashed; and Skies of Italy, crimson-zoned with a yellow edging. Set among green-leaved geraniums and other foliage plants, pots of the variegateds add color and pattern.

   Ceraminc woven basket with pink ivy-leaved gerniums in the garden of Mr. and Mrs. Thedore B. Griffith

   Scented-leaved geraniums comprise a varied group that is treasured for the scent of the crushed leaves. The flowers, smaller and less showy than those of zonals, are not so important. Familiar kinds include the nutmeg, with round leaves and small white flowers; the peppermint, with large, hairy, velvety leaves; the pine-scented, with big finely-cut leaves; the rose, with deeply-cut, toothed leaves; and the lemon-scented, with small leaves on compact plants. A variety of the lemon-scented, Prince Rupert, is admired for its variegated green-and-white leaves. Scented-leaved geraniums prefer a light, well-drained loam. They make unique pot plants, and for a black iron kettle nothing is more decorative than a great sprawling peppermint geranium.

Ivy-leaved and Lady Washington Types

   The trailing, ivy-leaved geraniums are among the most profuse flowering when grown under favorable conditions. They dislike shade and high humidity and thrive best in climates with warm days and cool nights, as in California. In window boxes, they offer a pleasant change from English ivy and vinca and present masses of lively color in hanging baskets suspended on porches, posts, lathhouses, garages, or trees. Adaptable basket varieties include the lilac-white to pink Alliance, the double pink Galilee, and the lavender Santa Paula.

   Lady Washingtons, considered the handsomest of geraniums, are not so easy to grow. Like the ivy-leaved, they prefer cool nights and warm, sunny days, responding to shelter from wind and all-day sun. You may want a few for variety's sake, like the lovely Easter Greeting, Lucy Becker, Gay Nineties, and Marie Rober. Lady Washington geraniums are sold by florists at Easter time, and gift plants you receive can be included in the container garden.

Cactus and Climbing

   If you are a geranium enthusiast, you may want to spark your pot plant collection with some cactus and climbing geraniums. They have bizarre and fascinating forms and flowers and are certain to arouse comment. There is the parsley-leaved Otidia, the heart-leaved, knotted and rue-scented stork-bills, the prickly-stalked geranium, and the climbing square-stalked Jenkinsonia. Perhaps they are more interesting than handsome.