Sunday, June 28, 2009

In Praise of Geraniums

Geraniums by Childe Hassam, 1859-1935, American impressionist

For many years, I have had geraniums on the windowsills in my house. If you have a black thumb, as I do, this is the plant for you. It thrives on neglect, preferring dryer conditions. It is a gift that keeps on giving--beautiful blooms all year round in warm colors that bring a lovely accent to any room. One year I put them outside, but they did take well to being drenched in rain and looked poorly. Inside, where I neglect them for days on end, they are far happier. A liking for geraniums runs in the family--here is Reubens Peale with a geranium, as painted by his brother. My great-grandmother was a Peale.

Reubens Peale with a Geranium, by Rembrandt Peale

The Japanese like geraniums (apologies for the lack of a painter's name).

Geraniums on the windowsill--an old tradition. Here, from 19th-century England.

The Writing Lesson, by James Collinson, 1825-1885

Geraniums, by Julian Alden Weir, 1852-1919, American impressionist

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