This is “review” time of year for many of us at our place of employment and it can be a stressful time. All the work and effort from the past year is summed up in one nice standard form, chock full of all the key “buzz words”. In fact, many of us are required to write our own self evaluations and that can be quite the daunting task. We are reminded of projects we worked on and struggled with and it unearths memories we had hoped to leave behind.
In order to help alleviate this stress, I decided I would do something that would immediately make me feel better … I’ll take it out on someone/something else.
And that’s right, I’m talking to you my weaker performing plants!
You may think you are safe because you were left in the ground to overwinter, but I am warning you now, I am on to you. I’ve been carefully detailing your work in the spring, summer and fall and I cannot afford for some of you to bring our organization (I mean garden) down. You may think you are just one or two little plants of insignificance, but you are all part of the greater “whole”. I value your contribution as much as the larger shrubs and trees (wink wink) and if you work hard enough, you may just get featured as a specimen in one of the more prominent containers on my back deck. How’s that for a lofty 2011 objective?
I will be evaluating these lesser performing plants over the next few weeks as I prepare for the spring and there are some tough decisions to be made.
For today’s evaluation, we are looking at Geranium ‘Brookside’.
I’ve had these for about four years now and the phrase that continues to come to mind is “Does not meet expectations”. I had such high hopes for this super blooming perennial, based on my initial research and from viewing their images online, yet I find they continue to disappoint.
Here is a photo of one in full bloom in early June:
And a close-up of one of the individual flowers:
To me, the individual flowers rock, but when taken as a whole, it doesn’t do too much for me. Maybe if I took the time to deadhead and remove the spent flowers it would be more impressive, but that is too much of an effort considering all that is going on in the late spring.
Yes, I appreciate that they have proven to be deer resistant and can handle the clay and often wet conditions, but I need more. When in bloom, it looks completely chaotic but not in a good way. They easily outgrow their supposed size and creep where I don’t want them to creep (but that is an issue for HR).
In fact, I enjoy these more after the blooms have been completely sheared back and the new foliage has grown in. See the photo below:
My design style leans more foliage based then flower based so I truly appreciate the more unique leave shape a geranium offers as it contrasts perfectly with other perennials. Maybe the foliage is all they have to offer and I should just accept that. After all, we can’t all be top performers right?
While it is fleeting, this geranium also offers some nice autumn color as it heads towards dormancy:
In summary, I will give these an additional year to impress me as I blame myself for their mediocre performance since they have been moved three times in four years. As their manager, I have to accept my part in their performance.