Donald Waterer was educated at Wellington College and was an adept linguist. However, it was horticulture that claimed his primary interest from an early age. He was enthused by his family’s heritage of breeding first class hardy hybrid azaleas and rhododendrons. Eventually, he ran the family’s Knaphill Nursery as General Manager. He selected and introduced many azalea cultivars there.
Rozanne Waterer was a keen gardener like her husband. She noticed one of the perennial geraniums growing in their private garden (in Somerset, England). It exhibited stronger growth, larger leaves and flowers similar to ‘Buxton’s Variety’, but twice as large. It flowered non-stop from June until the first hard frosts in November! Being plants people, Donald and Rozanne sought the advice of geranium experts. This included Graham Stuart Thomas, who recommended they contact Must Have Perennials™.
The plant was introduced as Geranium ‘Rozanne’, the world’s best-selling perennial flower. This is one of the most shining examples of how keen-eyed gardeners can discover the most successful varieties.
Geranium ‘Rozanne’ was launched at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2000. Its popularity has grown in Europe and North America, as it has shown versatility to a wide range of soil and climatic conditions, including tolerance to heat. It has received the RHS Award of Garden Merit and the U.S. Perennial Plant Association Perennial Plant of the Year awards. In 2013, Rozanne® was voted ‘Plant of the Centenary’ in a competition celebrating 100 years of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Geranium ‘Azure Rush’ is a hybrid of Rozanne® discovered at the zu Jeddeloh Pflanzen Nursery in Germany. It features the same traits as its famous parent G. ‘Rozanne’ but with a more compact, mounding habit.
Geranium Lilac Ice® is yet another hybrid of ‘Rozanne’ showing off pale lilac blooms with dark veins.