Discovered by gardeners
Geranium Rozanne® ('Gerwat') is a true gardeners’ plant in every way, having started life in the garden of Donald and Rozanne Waterer in the sleepy village of Kilve, Somerset. The retired couple were both keen gardeners, with Donald having previously been involved in a family nursery.
Around 1989, while lovingly tending their own private garden, Donald and Rozanne Waterer noticed a Geranium seedling that was growing much stronger than the others in the garden and had larger leaves. When it bloomed, its flowers had a similar look to those of Geranium ‘Buxton’s Variety’ but were twice as large. It seemed that a super-Geranium had emerged!
The next year, by which time the plant had become established growing in the ground, it flowered non-stop from June until the first hard frosts in November! Being plants people, the Waterers were becoming increasingly excited, not just because of having such an exceptional plant but because of the possibility that it might be different enough to be introduced as a new variety in its own right.
The Waterers sought the advice of Geranium experts, who agreed. The chain of events that followed resulted in the plant being trialed in the world famous Bressingham Gardens to test out its performance prior to building up stock to introduce.
Cuttings were taken to create replicas so it could be tested in different environments. To cut a long story short, the new Geranium not only performed magnificently at The Bressingham Gardens, but also in trials in various locations across Europe and North America. Rozanne’s seedling proved to have the versatility to grow well in a wide range of soil and climatic conditions, from cool Canada to the humid US state of Georgia. The decision was taken to introduce it to the world as a new variety of hybrid Geranium named after its originator Rozanne Waterer.
Since then, Geranium Rozanne® has continued to live up to her reputation, delighting gardeners on both sides of the Atlantic. An unprecedented 8 million plants have been sold (exceptional for a perennial) and a clutch of awards have been collected including the RHS Award of Garden Merit and the (US) Perennial Plant Association Plant of the Year. The RHS chose upcoming young plantsman 15-year-old Henry Grubb to represent Geranium Rozanne® in the Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Centenary competition, having been selected as the Chelsea plant of the decade 1993 – 2002.
Read about what makes Geranium Rozanne® such a perfect plant for today's gardeners.