These are some of the most useful of ornamental plants for the general garden. They are hardy geraniums and should not be confused with non-hardy geraniums or Pelargoniums.
Hardy geraniums are very attractive without being showy and there is a very wide variety of colours, habits and flowering seasons. Some are carpeters forming neat low-growing ground cover, for both the sun and shade. Others form low - or medium-height clumps while some form tall drifts that are really only suitable for larger borders.
The flower range is based on blue and purple with white and pink variations in between. The season for individual plants is generally relatively short, but one or two have very long flowering periods.
The foliage is often attractive but only occasionally striking: it forms a goof background to the flowers and other plants. The foliage of many of the early flowerers should be cut to the ground so that they produce a new fresh-looking crop.
Hardy geraniums are invaluable garden plants because they are extremely easy to grow in a wide range of soils and many will grow in either sun or shade. Some are good plants for growing in wild meadow gardens.
The species can be propagated from seed and the cultivars from cuttings or division. Generally they do not make good container plants, although some of the really small species can be grown in troughs.