Many decades ago we would identify geraniums and pelargoniums by their leaves, and as geraniums. In today’s world, due to DNA and genome identification, what you and I traditionally thought of as geraniums — those with big, beautiful, round heads of flowers — are actually “zonal pelargoniums.” Both geraniums and pelargoniums are in the Geraniaceae family. Very few geraniums are sold in plant nurseries simply because they are not as showy as the pelargoniums.
I have thousands of pictures of pelargoniums and hundreds of geraniums. The problem with pictures of pelargoniums is that by the time the flower stalk is full of flowers, some of the older flowers look pretty ratty. Today I discovered how to resolve that problem.
First, I cloned out the ratty parts of the pictures using Photoshop CS6. Along with other minor cleanup (contrast, highlights, shadows), I applied the Fractalius filter sharpening to them. Then I took them to CorelDRAW! X6 and made paintings out of them using the Trace Bitmap function. Since I was making paintings out of them, I didn’t have to be real careful in Photoshop with the quality of the cloning. That made it a lot easier since geraniums and pelargoniums have a lot of nooks and crannies amongst the leaves and flowers.
Following are my pelargonium paintings for our Friday Flower Fiesta, all of them from my gardens over the years. Some of the original pictures were small, unfocused, low resolution pictures from old point & shoot cameras; making paintings out of them allows me to save them as something more beautiful than just a documentation of my old gardens.
The last painting is of some pelargonium leaves — one reason why I like pelargoniums is because when they are not blooming, they still look gorgeous because of their many leaf colors and shapes. If you really want something unique in your garden, get some smelly pelargoniums, more properly called “scented-leaf pelargoniums.” They come in chocolate, lemon, apple, coconut, rose, strawberry, nutmeg, and many other smells.
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