Are all your home grown vegies full of holes?
Try planting a citronella geranium in the centre of your vegie patch, the scent that is released from the leaves helps deter pests from around your vegie plants and herbs
Citronella geranium is easy to grow in a well drained soil and will reach 1m
Need a mid week idea for a delicious treat ?
Start with your favourite shortbread recipe or a box of shortbread mix from the supermarket, make up as directed and roll your shortbread out to about 4mm thick, cut into circles and place a scented geranium leaf under each biscuits so the leaf is between the baking tray and the shortbread, cook as per recipe until lightly browned. Cool, turn upside down and enjoy with a cuppa.
Some geranium varieties I used were........................
Mabel Grey / Rose / Candy dancer / Lemon Rose and spice....
All the scented geranium varieties are edible but I would avoid using the very pungent ones such as pine and citronella.
Need some personal chemical free insect repellent?
Citronella Geranium is your answer.. if you get bitten in the garden by mosquitos…..simply crush and rub the leaf over your exposed skin for a repellent…..works for about 1 hour before needing to reapply.
(Try a small test area first if you have sensitive skin or allergies)
Natures insect repellent
Having an outdoor Christmas lunch this year and always get bothered by flies?
Try a vase of citronella scented geranium jazzed up with some glitter and tinsel on the centre of you Christmas table.
Or crush and rub leaves on exposed skin to stop mozzies making you their Christmas feast.
The History of Geraniums
The genera (larger family) of ‘Geraniaceae’ covers a large family of plants
In 1609 some Pelargonium zonale plants from the Cape of Good Hope - Africa were taken by ship to Holland by the Dutch Governor and in 1932 the first Pelargonium (Pel. trist) was taken to England.
From 1841 after the Napeoleonic War, England gained control of the Cape and lots of plants made their way to England, a botanical magazine was started to record the many types and colours called ‘Sweets Geraniaceae’
Because the climatic conditions were very different from their natural habitat, they were grown in glasshouses or treated as an annual plant.
From England geraniums made their way to America with the many English migrants moving to a new land, the plants did very well especially in California as the climate was warmer and dryer.
Plants also made it to Australia, again with migrating families, bringing their favourite garden plants to settle in a new land.
Australia enjoyed a surge in geranium fever after World War II, many new types were produced and Societies and annual shows organised.
Fancy leaved pelargoniums enjoyed a great popularity mid last century in England. The flowers were removed to allow all the plants nutrients for the colourful foliage.
Fancy Leaved pelargonium 'Powder Puff '
The first Ivy - Pelargonium peltatum was introduced into Holland in 1700 the original Ivy geranium had pink single flowers. The Ivy geranium plant had made it to England by 1774 and many new shades were bred.
Original style of Ivy Geranium flowers
Did you know that the average household spends $50 per week on airfreshners and things to make their home smell great! Why not make your own from your garden and start saving, with this easy pot pourri.
3 cups of mixed geranium leaves that blend well together – mabel grey, orange, lemon, peppermint, mint rose, robur’s lemon rose, apple, tutti fruity, lime, rose, citronella, old spice/ lavender.
1 cup of scented petals – rose, citrus tree flowers, mock orange, lavender flowers, or
Lemon or orange peel
Cinnamon sticks about 2,
6 Star Anise
Add bright coloured flower petals for colour or silk some flowers, I have used bouganvillea petals in the mix in the photo as they hold their colour well when they dry.
Use the pot pourri fresh in your bathrooms and living areas or add 2 tablespoons of Orris Root Powder (Scent Fixative), and dry and put into pretty bags for your draws or gifts.
Inspire your senses by combining equal quantities of torn lemon and rose scented geranium leaves, mix with an small amount of lavender flowers and rose petals and add some small pieces of lemon peel a little orris root powder and mix, fill a pretty silk bag and tie with a ribbon, use in your draws or guest room for a lovely fragrance, or innovate and use in a foot spa. This is a beautiful home made gift that your friends and family will love
My Favourite Pellie
My favourite bush pellie would have to be the golden leaved one pictured above because I love unusual foliage plants, I find it easier to grow in a more sheltered spot in the garden because it doesn’t like the high winds that I get on the top of my mountain. The pretty colour single salmon flowers don’t usually amount to much as they are sparse compared to other geranium blooms, but sit well in front of the coloured foliage. I find this plant fairly disease resistant, and doesn’t get attacked by grasshoppers as the green geranium plants do (maybe grasshoppers can’t see this colour !) The red margins on the leaves really darken in winter, making it ideal for floral art. The photo below was taken at the Camellia Society show in Toowoomba, and someone has made a beautiful arrangement using these geranium leaves alongside red camellias.
By Wendy Skelton
Spice- Add to Milk puddings, custards and rice, Potpourri, Flavour cakes and biscuits, use as foliage in a Tussie-mussie, Suitable for hanging basket, Fast growing.
Apple- Add to Milk puddings, custards and rice, Potpourri, flavour cakes and biscuits, summer drinks and punches, add to Fruit salads, Small bush, Suitable for hanging basket
Nutmeg -Add to Milk puddings, custards and rice. Potpourri, Flavour cakes and biscuits, Small bush, Suitable for hanging basket
Tutti fruitii- Potpourri, Summer drinks and punches. Fruit salads, Small bush, Suitable for hanging basket
Lemon Crispum- Potpourri, Flavour cakes and biscuits, Bath bags and foot spa’s, Summer drinks and punches. Fruit salads, Herb butters, use foliage in a Tussie mussie,
Mellissa Lemon - Add to Milk puddings, custards and rice. Potpourri, Flavour cakes and biscuits, Bath bags and foot spa’s, Summer drinks and punches, Jams and Jelly, Fruit salads, Herb butters, Tussie mussies
Orange – Potpourri, Bath bags and foot spa’s, Summer drinks and punches Fruit salads
Lime - Bath bags and foot spa’s, Summer drinks and punches. Fruit salads, Tussie mussies
African Spice- Add to Milk puddings, custards and rice, Flavour cakes and biscuits, Tussie mussies, no good for pot pourri, Suitable for hanging basket
Carrot – Pink Pet and scarlet Pet - Flavour cakes and biscuits, Tussie mussies, Fast growing
Peppermint - Flavour cakes and biscuits, Bath bags and foot spa’s, Summer drinks and punches. Fruit salads, Suitable for hanging basket, Ground cover likes afternoon shade.
Rose- Potpourri, Bath bags and foot spa’s, Jams and Jelly, Tussie mussies
Citronella - Repels insects, Tussie mussies, fast growing to 1m
Variegated Mint /Rose – Potpourri, Flavour cakes and biscuits, Bath bags and foot spa’s, Summer drinks and punches. Interesting foliage for Tussie mussies, Suitable for hanging basket
Mabel Grey – Potpourri, Bath bags and foot spa’s, Tussie mussies
Candy Dancer – Potpourri, Bath bags and foot spa’s, Tussie mussies
Pine/ Royal Oak - Tussie mussies, no good for pot pourri
Roburs Lemon Rose – Potpourri, Bath bags and foot spa’s, Jams and Jelly, Tussie mussies
Ginger - Flavour cakes and biscuits, Summer drinks and punches. Fruit salads, Tussie mussies
Old spice/Lavender- Potpourri, Bath bags and foot spa’s, Tussie mussies, Suitable for hanging basket