Welcome home Granddad! 

Well after being lost for many years, I finally have grandad back with me! No he didn’t go wondering around the world and got lost on some great adventure in the middle of the Himalayas or to darkest Peru but he is indeed a plant I named after my grandad. 

I have had a love for Hardy geraniums for many years and back in the late 1990’s, I made massed a small collection of about 200 different types including a lot of my favourite group, the phaeums, oh how I love the mourning widows, with their different shades of colours, sticking out with their different patterns on the flowers , great leaves, some with fantastic patterns that remind me of a child’s sponge printing. Like any small collection, these plants will cross bred amongst themselves and produce the odd new plant and that exciting thing happened to me in 2000, a beautiful red form with cracking black markings on the leaves, I left it in the garden to see what will happen, 2001, I was so excited to see the flower buds appear when I had the bad new that my Grandad had passed away.  Our grand parents have an amazing role in our life’s don’t they, they are lucky enough to spend quality time with us, with the ease of handing us back to our parents if we do anything wrong, spend many happy days out walking with them, across the fields of hampshire as well as Buckinghamshire, times on holidays and hearing their stories of their lives. I can still remember my grandad, sat in his favourite chair, playing with his pipe and talking about football, mainly about the brilliant Watford football club!  and telling me to pass my driving test! Wonderful memories and felt I wanted to honour him with this new seedling so Geranium phaeum ‘George Stone’ was named 

It grew well in my Hampshire home and it was divided up and used in a plant swap in a well know geranium nursery in Norfolk, went on trail at the RHS Geranium trails at Wisley gardens as well. In 2006, for various reasons, I moved to West Sussex for a new job that only sadly  lasted for year and with the constant moving, being homeless etc, I managed to loss all my geraniums, every single one, I was gutted. It took me many years before I was settled again and my love of plants was set on fire again once more and I wanted my grandad back again with me at home. Sadly for some reason the Norfolk nursery failed to answer my emails, tweets and messages as to whether they still had it despite it being listed on plant finder with them. It really really upset me thinking I may never get the plant back again. Thankfully in 2017, a new supplier was listed in the plant finder, Gardener’s Cottage plants, a quick email and then a chat with the lovely Andrew Davenport, talking as all gardeners do, about plants, gardens and all things garden related, he did say he had one plant left! It just made my year! Soon after, the plant arrived home and now it’s settled in nicely back with me and just started to flower once more. This time I am going to build my stocks up, supply to a lot of others to have in their gardens and this time I will not lose my Grandad! 

12 Comments Add yours

  1. John Kingdon says:

    What a wonderful story and, without wanting to seem sycophantic, what a beautiful flower. The colour seems far more consistent across the bloom than, say, “Rose Madder” and I like the shape of it too. I haven’t seen markings like those on a leaf since the last time a rose got a touch of black spot! Icing on the cake. Your pride in that plant is totally justified.

    1. thomashort says:

      Thank you so much John, it’s great to have someone else echo my thoughts on him 😀 seen a few reds and not close to him, hopefully will propagate next year and won’t lose him again!

  2. A lovely story and as John says a wonderful flower. It is very odd as I am just in the middle of writing about my naming of a plant. We must be synchronised!

    1. thomashort says:

      Thank you 😊 lol that is strange isn’t, been playing with it this week, can’t wait to hear your story 😀

  3. loujnicholls says:

    Wonderful news! I’m really glad for you & I think all of us gardeners go through those traumatic times where we feel like we’ve lost everything, it’s hard. For me it was my primulas… onwards and upwards mate x

    1. thomashort says:

      Thank you Lou 😀we do don’t we? Unless we are very lucky, our jobs generally mean if we want to move on up or see another job that we really fancy, we have to move sadly and plants don’t like that movement do they, l hope you start regaining some of your primulas not far from a brilliant primula nursery are you?

      1. loujnicholls says:

        I have 2 replacements now a double & a striped, which nursery??

      2. thomashort says:

        😀😀it’s woottens of wenstonston spelling!!!! Great nursery, was a plantspersons paradise when I visited many years again

  4. chris says:

    What a lovely story. I think plants mean so much more when we link them to a person. The name ‘Grandad’ is so sweet. I would love to have him in my garden too.

    1. thomashort says:

      Thank you very much Chris, they do indeed, they are almost memories in living form, ones we have great attach ments too

  5. JudyB says:

    That’s a very touching story. And a beautiful flower too. Very happy for you 🙂

    1. thomashort says:

      Thank you Judy 😀😀

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