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Geranium Pratense

Growing Guide for Geranium Pratense


One of the favored gardening plants and one that is seen in almost every professional gardeners plot is the geranium pratense. Also known as the Crowfoot Cranesbill, Bassinets, Loving Andrews, and Gratia Dei, (Grace of God), the geranium pratense comes from a long line of ancestral flowering plants. Known for its beautiful sky-blue color, the sacredness of this blue-colored variety has been linked to the Virgin Mary’s veil. One of the most interesting and fascinating facts about a geranium pratense is that the phrase, ‘Swearing a blue streak’, means to take G-d’s name in vain and is a common way of ‘policing up’, a curse word phrase. It is easy to see why many gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts love to grow and cultivate the geranium pratense.

There are many uses for the geranium pratense other than aesthetic beauty and gorgeous flowers. In Iceland, it was once manufactured for the blue-dye that the flower petals contained. The blue -dye was then combined with silk or in cotton to make some of the priest robes and most definitely the Royal Purple of the Kings of Iceland. Purple and blue are two of the most common colors of geranium pratense although there are many different other color variations of the splendid plant. The history of the geranium pratense is as interesting and varied as some of the most important roses, of centuries gone by.

Odin’s flower, a variation of geranium pratense, is lilac-blue in color. The color of Odin’s flower is very important as it was considered a sacred plant for the eternal St. Andrew of Scotland. The symbol of Scotland, shown against a grey blue field, match Odin’s flower, and compares nicely to the color scheme in honor of Scotland’s patron saint. It’s interesting to think about how a small geranium pratense plant commanded so much respect, and was and is considered sacred in a country as spectacular as Scotland.

Scotland was not the only country that adored and glorified a variation of the geranium pratense, Germany was right there along their European brethren. In Germany, the worship of the same Odin’s Flower variation of geranium pratense, brought marriages together and itself was admired for its beauty and garden perfection. The fascination and admiration of the geranium pratense dates back all the way to the early 1500’s, as kings and queens alike, sent couriers to faraway locations, just to gather the precious geranium cuttings. Now all the fields and garden plots of Europe and North America abound with variations of Odin’s Flower, with the geranium pratense, or the Meadows Cranesbill, among the most popular species of plants in the entire Geraniaceae family.

When attempting to garden with the geranium pratense, caring concern of the soil is the first task for any gardening effort. The geranium pratense responds well to a light and airy soil, rich in both nitrogen and potassium for its ability to absorb these essential nutrients. The geranium will respond well to full and partial sun even in the most humid and arid of climates. This is why the great royal families of Europe have chosen the Meadow Cranesbill, as an insignia of both, war and love.



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