2015 Perennial Plant of the Year: Geranium xcantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’

This year’s winner is Geranium cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ – a compact plant at 6 – 10” high (up to 25cm) with fragrant foliage (often touted for not being tasty to bunnies and deer). Happier in a sunny garden but tough enough at zone 4 to do fine in part shade too. Nice and bright late Spring blooms with 5-petaled white flowers, tinged pink with darker pink stamens opening from a redder bud. Long blooming in most soil conditions – although originally alpine, can be used as a groundcover with little to low maintenance and pest and disease free. No need to do the deadheads, but shearing them helps to keep the plant tight. If it grows where you don’t want it, the shallow root system makes it easy to remove. The fall foliage is scarlet and orange, adding to its full season interest. Much of the leaf cover is evergreen, so less cutting back to do – it’s just a matter of cleaning up the dead leaves in the Spring. In a shade garden, it goes well with Japanese painted fern, echoing the colours of the fern foliage; it pairs nicely with any pink spring bloomers.

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