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When I first laid eyes on Pelargonium Lord Bute I was astonished. The colour combination of the petals compelled me to find out the name of the variety immediately . Although Lord Bute is an old variety of Pelargonium, people are still wowed by it to this day and it remains ever popular despite newer introductions.

Pelargonium Lord Bute was given the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit, which is perceived as the gardening Oscar, in 1910. The five cm (2in) rounded flowers are borne in clusters. The blackish-red petals each have a fuchsia purple edge making a stunning contrast. Each light green leaf has a toothed edge. Plants will reach a height of around 45cm (18in).

This type of Pelargonium is part of the group known as Regal Pelargoniums as opposed to the Zonal Pelargoniums (tender Geraniums) that most people recognise. These Regal types have a very wide range in flower colours with some startling colour combinations, as is so true of Lord Bute. Regals are also one of the earliest Pelargoniums to come into flower in the spring, and will continue to bloom throughout summer if deadheaded regularly.

This variety is ideal for patio containers, either as a single variety or mixed with other complimentary plants. They can be grown in the summer border, but must always be moved into frost free conditions in the colder months if you wish to save plants for the following year. Alternatively take softwood cuttings in summer to increase your stock.

Use a quality, multipurpose compost when potting and feed the plant with a high potash feed throughout the summer, and you will be rewarded with a long succession of some of the most breathtaking blooms I know of. This is an easily grown plant suitable for both the novice or the seasoned gardener.

If you share my huge enthusiasm for this delightful plant follow the link below to view buying options.

Mark Snelling

To view this plant at Waitrose Garden click here

All images copyright Waitrose Garden

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