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Sue's research for this book started with tracing the British species back through history and trying to understand the naming - why Geum - why Avens? as well as discovering all the common names which relate to plants in different parts of the world. She visited the Herbarium at Kew to see pressed species from all over the world and also the Lindley library in London and Wisley. Their use in herbal medicine in the past and present could be a book in itself. In addition to this theoretical work has been the practical side of holding a National Plant Collection(R) (www.plantheritage.com) which consists of over 100 different cultivars, hybrids, varieties and species.
They are grown in borders amongst other perennials in a small cottage garden as well as in raised beds containing chiloense, coccineum and rivale cultivars. Records are kept of flowering times, general health and response to different growing conditions. On the whole, the only Geums known to the general public are 'Lady Stratheden' and 'Mrs J. Bradshaw' and whilst these are first class plants there are so many more. This book describes the delights of colour and form of more than a 100 possible alternatives and explains how with a little 'tlc' and soil that doesn't dry out these plants will reward the gardener with untold pleasure.
Introduction; History and Naming; The Use of Geums in Medicine and Cooking; Cultivation of Geums; Propagation; Pests and Diseases; Botany; Cultivars grown in the National Collection; Interspecific Hybrids; Species; Suppliers;