The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Scented geraniums are a must for every summer garden

Photo: Lemon scented geranium

Photo: Lemon scented geranium

Seraphina’s pelargoniums have survived the winter in window boxes in Cambridge. I was stunned when I spotted this the other day when I arrived to decorate her dining room. She chose the grey shade  (Pacific Breeze) in the Dulux Light and Space collection. The room looked stunning, soft and bright. Like walking inside a shell.

Knowing Seraphina, I think that she had forgotten the pelargoniums. We have sadly lost all of ours. A collection that we’d kept going for years. Carefully potted up each autumn to over winter in the greenhouse. Even though the greenhouse is well ventilated, they have all succumbed to mildew.

So this is will be the first summer that we’ll not be proudly potting up our collection of beautiful old ladies.

Perhaps the mildew spores were already resident in the greenhouse – just waiting to leap on board? I’m going to give the greenhouse a really good spring clean. I use a solution of Citrox oganic disinfectant (does not harm children or wildlife) and water. I think that I might spray the gravel with a weak solution of Bordeaux Mixture (anti fungal treatment that was developed in France to treat fungal diseases on grape vines).  It’s classed as an organic treatment if the solution is weak.

And at Easter, Jalopy and I will gently nose out of our drive in search of scented geraniums. These are essential for the best of summer scents. We like to plant them beside the front and back doors of the cottage and bask in their clear fragrance when we pass by. They do need to be mixed with other more showy plants for a decent display as the flowers of scented geraniums tend to be diminutive.

  Leave a reply


  1. the amateur spaniard

    just came by this site – requesting help from very sunny southern spain !! am a bit of an amateur but very keen on natural recipes – just made a batch of my own tyme and rosemary bath oil – but will all my books etc – i have masses of lemon geranium (and others) in my garden and want to do something with the lemon ones – any ideas ??

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hello the amateur spaniard

      I’m so sorry but I don’t have any great ideas for using your lemon geranium apart from adding a leaf (with stalk) to enhance apple jelly.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Magic Cochin

    Thank you so much for this delightful link.

    I’m going to try your Mum’s cake when I can track down some new scented geraniums!

    Hi Kate(uk)

    Thanks for your rubber stamping. Much appreciated.

  3. kate (uk)

    I’d recommend the Vernon Geranium Nursery too, also Fibrex nursery.

  4. magic cochin

    Hi again

    I found this link and thought of you

    My Mum makes tray baked sponge cake baked with Attar of Roses geranium leaves in the bottom of the tin under the sponge mixture. Ice the top and cut to fingers. To make a deluxe version decorate with crystalised Attar of Roses petals.


  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Kate (UK)

    Thanks so much for your advice. I will be much more circumspect next autumn.

    Hi S.O.L.

    What a shame that you lost yours too.

    Yes I love them too, especially the older ladies who are into their third or fourth year.

    Hello John

    I’ve edited your web address from .net to .com and finally discovered your website! The .net just leads to an apache server page.

    Thanks for all your advice. We have a paraffin heater that we used to use a lot during really cold winters. I also had more time in those days. Quite often now I go to work in the dark and return in the dark. So a lot is missed in the garden. Thank goodness that the evenings are getting lighter!

    Isn’t it crazy that we are not allowed to set up our own electricity points anymore. I installed all the electrics to the pond many years ago. I did have an electrician friend check it over.

    Thanks for the tip about the money conversion. I really liked the old money, particularly the threepenny bit.

    Hello Belinda

    Yes I have put a single scented geranium leaf in jars of delicate apple jelly!

    I’m going to email you as I’d like to see the recipe. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,237,279 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2012 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder