While the phlox is in full bloom with carpets of lavender flowers, the foliage of the geranium has emerged enough to form neat mounds of dark chocolate leaves.
The color contrast between the two is eye popping and at the same time, the shape of the phlox blooms mirror the shape of the geranium leaves. And while the blooms of the phlox are due to fade in the very near future, there will soon be another wave of color contrast once these geraniums bloom themselves and reveal their soft pink flowers.
Once the Geranium ‘Espresso’ blooms bid farewell, both plants (after a light shearing from yours truly) will maintain solid foliage color all the way into the fall.
For those who have followed this blog in the past, you know that I suffer from poor draining clay soil. Typically, creeping phlox/moss phlox doesn’t survive well under these conditions. And I’ve tinkered with this groundcover for years and witnessed first hand how it despises the waterlogged soil. However, there is a spot along the sidewalk in front of my home that is extremely sandy/gritty due to the original construction of the sidewalk and the phlox just love it there. The deer and rabbits have never touched them so I won’t be moving these at any point in the future as they also look great spilling on to the sidewalk.
All indications are that Geranium ‘Espresso’ requires full sun in order to thrive, but I can attest to the fact that mine have performed well with only 4 hours or so of direct sun each day. I’m considering dividing these after they bloom this spring to see if they in fact thrive even more in a true “full sun” site. Once this geranium stops putting out new blooms, I shear them down quite a bit so they maintain a fuller look throughout the summer and fall.