Hardy Geraniums are frost hardy herbaceous perennials not be confused with Pelargoniums (also often called Geraniums,) which are non-hardy and usually feature as summer bedding.
This group of Geraniums, whose common name is Cranesbill, are fully hardy to H7 which means they will withstand our winters and return reliably in the spring. Some varieties are herbaceous, some evergreen and all are an attractive, useful border plant which is unfussy about its growing conditions, and mixes well with other plants, especially good with roses. As a bonus, Geraniums are loved by both bees and butterflies.
Geraniums varying significantly in size from Geranium pratense, the meadow cranesbill, which grows to around 1 meter, to small compact low growing varieties such Geranium sanguineum which is around 30 cms. The gallery below illustrates around 10 different types of Geranium, the main variation is in size.
Geranium flowers come in colours of blue, purple, pink and white, often with attractive markings inside the flowers, as in the images below. There are some planting combinations below, Geranium is teamed up with a Candelabra primula and bright red Geum, and also with Alchemilla mollis where the blue is good against the bright lime green. Geraniums also look good growing around Alliums and will serve to cover Alliums base leaves, which can look tatty, even early in the season. Some Geraniums are long flowering and will flower right from June to frosts. This type of Geranium will come back year after year, although the herbaceous varieties will disappear over winter and regrow in the spring.
If Geraniums are not the garden plant for you, for more ideas check out summer flowering plants spring flowering plants 20 Best scented plants and climbing plants for more inspiring ideas.