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Celebrate the year of the geranium by adding them to your yard

By Larry Sagers

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, April 8 2012 3:36 p.m. MDT

The fragrance is created by oils in the leaves and is released when the leaves are rubbed.

There are many fragrances including those of roses, lemons, cloves, nutmeg, pine, peppermint, apple, pineapple, chocolate, coconut and many others.

Ivy-leaf geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum) have long, brittle stems with sculptured, ivy shaped succulent leaves.

These have a graceful trailing habit and are popular for hanging baskets, window-boxes and containers.

These plants flower profusely throughout the summer. They are covered with smaller, looser flower umbels of single, semi-double or double blossoms in shades of deep maroon, red or pink.

Traditionally, all types of these plants were propagated vegetatively, taking cuttings from mother plants. The first successful seed geraniums were introduced in 1962, and there are now many different cultivars that are grown from seeds.

Rather than worry about their name, spend your time finding one of the hundreds of these beautiful plants to grow well in your garden. Their robust growth, long bloom season and beautiful foliage and superb flowers are going to make your garden very attractive this season.

Garden tips

For more information on the Year of the Geranium, including additional history and cultural information, go to www.nbg.org

The Red Butte Spring Bulb Show and Competition will be held April 21 and 22, 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Red Butte Garden Visitors Center. The competition is open for any and all spring bulbs to everyone who would like to bring in flowers. Regular garden admission applies; members get in free.

Larry A. Sagers is a horticulture specialist for the Utah State University Extension Service at Thanksgiving Point.

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