Behold my humble geraniums. They were not always mine. I do not grow these in the summer. My mother-in-law grows them though, and at the end of the season there is always one she can’t bear to throw away. The first year, under extreme pressure, I agreed to overwinter the pink one. The next year, she begged me to do the same for a red one. The thing is, they just stayed, and never saw her garden again.
Since my success with these, my mother-in-law has tried to persuade me to take other plants of hers – even bedding plants such as begonias and impatiens. (She is unclear on the concept of annuals.) But I stand firm and draw the line. Two geraniums it is and will forever be. In my sunny living room window they sit, taking up a fair bit of precious houseplant space. To be fair, they rarely stop flowering, and they do bring a summery touch to the room.
Do you find that once people know you are a gardener, or at least proficient with houseplants, they tend to bring you their unwanted and ailing plants so you can “rehab them for a while?” Sometimes, they don’t even bother with that ruse. They just hand you the plants and tell you to keep them or throw them away. And you know what comes next: finding a spot to quarantine the newcomer, which is invariably infested with something highly contagious, and finally, the feelings of guilt when you eventually do have to throw it away.
At least these geraniums are healthy.