I have heard all the hoop-la about scented geraniums...from Martha Stewart to to garden center catalogs. I found these snippets of information this spring, when I was making out my order.
Did you know...That scented geraniums are native to South Africa?
That they cool themselves by releasing oil from glands on the backs of their leaves?
That the Victorians thought they were Geraniums?
That they aren't Geraniums but Pelargoniums?
That their cousin the Martha Washington Geranium is reputed to smell like dead fish? and that it also is not a Geranium, but a Pelargonium?
That just by laying some washed and dried leaves on an inch of sugar, covering with an inch of sugar, and leaving for a week, you can have scented sugar to use in teas and baked goods?
That dried leaves can be added to potpourri and sachets and, if left whole, will keep their fragrance for a long time?
That oil distilled from Rose Geraniums is often used in the perfume industry in place of the expensive Attar of Rose oil?
I decided to order a couple of them. They came in smallish pots...tiny little plants all ready for planting. I got one that was supposed to keep the mosquitoes away and a pink one and a red one. I put the red one in the top hole of my strawberry jar. I visualized red flowers...just below the hummingbird feeders. The little hummers would flit from feeder to red flower. I have waited all summer for red flowers. This is a year like no other. Flowers that normally do well...are in decline. The anticipation was high...when would they bloom?I have enough green foliage this year...I needed color! At last the buds opened. Is this what I ordered? How tiny the flowers. I should have read more carefully. These plants are purchased for the interesting leaves....I read later. Well, sitting in my rocker by the door, I saw my little hummingbird flitting around the feeder. Then he swooped down and landed on the tiny red blossom. Back and forth he went. He seemed delighted in what he had found. He goes there each day...tasting the same blossoms. He seems happy with these plants...why can't I be?