You know you’re good when the Royal Horticultural Society chooses you as the “Plant of the Centenary” at the 100th edition of the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show. That was the honour bestowed on the perennial Geranium ‘Rozanne’ last month. Voters selected ‘Rozanne,’ introduced at Chelsea in 2000, from a shortlist of ten plants, one for each decade of the show. For those keeping score at home the runner-up was the Russell Hybrids Lupine, which made its debut in 1939. ‘Rozanne’ has since been named the Perennial Plant Association’s Plant of the Year in 2008. Her trophy case must be getting crowded!
‘Rozanne’ produces large violet-blue flowers with purple-violet veins and white centres. Blooming starts in late May and continues right through the growing season. Foliage is deep green with chartreuse veins. Plant in full sun to part shade; don’t situate them in a blazing hot afternoon sun location if you want full flower production. Soil should be amended with organic material before planting and keep that soil moist. ‘Rozanne’ is hardy to Zone 5, so it will tolerate lows to -25 deg. C. Plants will grow up to three feet wide. You can trim the foliage back if it begin to look tattered late in the summer; plants will quickly respond with a fresh flush of leaves.
‘Rozanne’ can be used as a larger-scale groundcover but give it space to roam as it will overtake lesser plants. Plant it at the base of Philadelphus (Mock Orange) as the blue blooms will contrast beautifully and the white centres will compliment those of the shrub. Yellow daylilies such as ‘Stella d’oro’ would also look wonderful and they would bloom in tandem for months. ‘Rozanne’ is also very useful for hiding the leggy bases of roses. An ornamental grass with yellow in the foliage such as Calamagrostis ‘Eldorado’ would be a great partner as well.

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