Geranium as shrub



This is not a flowering windowbox pelargonium and certainly not the (real)
perennial one, which I use as a good-looking groundcover in partially-shaded

This is the scented pelargonium “Attar of Roses” that I
stuck in the back of a sunny border, thinking it might cover the knees of some
lanky oriental lilium.

 It is now almost as tall as the lilies were and has a spread
of about four feet, serving as a backdrop and support to this floppy heliopsis. And of course it smells nice.  Wow! Who knew? (I seem to
be saying “who knew” about something in the garden every year.)

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Saying “who knew?” is a good thing, as it shows your continual wonder and awe, as well as your burgeoning experience with plants. I also didn’t know that a Pelargonium could get that big in a single season. It’s beautiful.

  2. I remember taking a bus across Crete in the 70s and thinking: I wonder what yonder bushes with the bright red flowers are. And then it hit me: Ye gods, they’re geraniums!

    ‘Attar of Roses’ is a nice one to have getting bushy in your garden. I also love the scent of ‘Rober’s Lemon Rose.’

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