Cranebill (e), Bergtee (a); Carpet Geranium
35 x 50 cm
mauve September to May; spring summer autumn
sun; windy exposed; slope bank; walls; green walls; container; rockery; paving; roof gardens; wildlife bees butterflies insects butterfly host; narrow spaces;
fynbos; coastal eastern cape; coastal kzn
western cape; thicket
Find informative indigenous gardening articles in our web magazine - www.theindigenousgardener.co.za
The Crane’s Bill hails from Eastern Cape, Western Cape straddling the winter and summer rainfall regions, receiving rain for much of the year. Soft, silvery, blue-green leaves are finely textured and carry light mauve flowers on slender stems from September to May. This plant does tend to sprawl if not trimmed at regular times through the year. Groundcovers are strong feeders as they grow fast and flower heavily through the season, so they do require trimming and feeding through the growing season. Prune and deadhead regularly to keep plants strong and healthy and prevent them becoming too leggy and dying back from the centre. Plant it in full sun and ensure the soil drains well, and each plant has good air movement to prevent the stems from rotting. It covers the ground well with each plant spreading to cover an area of 35 x 50, and looks particularly attractive hanging over a wall or from a container, or drifting over the edges of a paved walkway. The soft mauve of the Carpet Geranium can be mixed with complementary colours of purple, blue and pink, or contrasting colours like yellow and orange. It would mix well with the Bulbine species, or try it with the bright yellow buttons of the groundcover, Cotula sericea. Geranium incanum attracts butterflies to the garden, offering as it does a safe level landing surface. Bees will also visit regularly. It is both frost hardy and wind resistant but does enjoy moderate rains through the year.