Virtues: This variety of cranesbill, or hardy geranium, stands out for its reliabilty as a spreading groundcover that blooms in spring and summer and offers colorful fall foliage. 'Tiny Monster' is a sterile cultivar, meaning that it cannot set seed and its energy will be directed toward continual bloom.
Common name: 'Tiny Monster' cranesbill, 'Tiny Monster' hardy geranium
Botanical name:Geranium 'Tiny Monster'
Flowers: Small dark pink flowers cover this hardy geranium from late spring through summer. Flowering is heaviest earlier in the season.
Foliage: Lobed, maple-like leaves are green in spring and summer and take on red and copper tones in the fall, before the plant dies back to the ground.
Habit: 'Tiny Monster' geranium is a spreading, mounding perennial that can function as a tall, dense groundcover. It can reach 18 inches tall and 36 inches wide.
Season: Spring and summer for flowers; fall for foliage.
How to grow Geranium 'Tiny Monster': Like most cranesbills, 'Tiny Monster' takes full sun or part shade and moderate watering. The more sun it gets, the more flowers it will produce and the more tight its growth habit will be. Hardy geraniums can withstand some dry spells and drought once they are established. They can be sheared back in midsummer to produce fresh, leafy growth and more flowers. Such shearing is particularly beneficial in hot climates. USDA Zones 4–8.
Image courtesy PerennialResource.com.
Find more plants with multiple seasons of interest, plus tips on using them to the best advantage, in Rebecca Sweet's Refresh Your Garden Design with Color, Texture and Form.
To learn about other great groundcovers, download the digital version of Horticulture's September/October 2012 issue.
Design a beautiful garden based on perennials and learn the easiest ways to keep it up with Roy Diblik's book The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden.