Many of my friends know that I love to play in the dirt. My flower garden is my happy place—it truly does feed my soul. Noelle and Sean (the Create & Decorate photographer) have taken to calling me Botany Bev when there is a gardening question in need of answering. By no means am I a botanist! Like I said, I just like to play in the dirt.
When Noelle and I visited the Brimfield Antique Show last month, we were invited to stay with Lyn Slade, owner of Charlotte’s House B&B (also our own For your Country Kitchen recipe queen, and fiber artist to boot!) in Bolton, MA. While discussing the variety of plants in the B&B’s yard, Lyn shared the history of the Bolton geranium. While I am certain I will relay the story like a poorly planned game of telephone, I’m sure you will get the general idea. It seems that this particular strain of geranium known to Bolton, MA was thought to be extinct, but it was discovered that a local woman still had the geranium in her home. By rooting cuttings from her geranium plant(s), the Bolton geranium was established again. Every year now, the town of Bolton sells these namesake geraniums in the spring. As you have probably guessed by now, Lyn sent me home with a Bolton geranium cutting.
While the cutting looks large in the photo, it was about 4″ in length. Lyn dipped the cutting into a powdery Root Grow and plopped it into a plastic sandwich bag for the 4-1/2 hour ride home. Noelle and I joked that it looked as if we won a goldfish at the state fair. I planted my cutting late that evening, and have attentively checked it daily for water during this hot, hot summer. The plant did lose 5 leaves the first two weeks and I honestly didn’t think it would survive. Lyn graciously left an open invitation to return to Bolton for another clipping if needed.
I phoned Lyn last week and let her know that the geranium actually had new growth appearing and I thought I even saw some buds starting! Yesterday, while out in the marvelous August sunshine, I was thrilled to find this:
So now, that famous Massachusetts geranium resides in a not-so-famous, but lovingly kept, New Jersey garden. And, like that very smart Bolton woman, I will bring my new garden treasure indoors for the winter.