A few years ago a friend of mine, who dearly loved her garden, moved.

And downsizing gave me some plants.

I had admired a hardy geranium in her borders for some time and so quite suddenly it was mine.

I planted it extra carefully and watched anxiously as I do with special plants.

Periodically I would report back:

‘The Dark Lady is doing very well!’ 

We definitely didn’t know her name, but made this one up in allusion to The Dark Lady’ to whom Shakespeare wrote 24 sonnets.

Our reasoning?

The immature foliage is plum and almost purple suffused. And even in maturity there is a dark cast to the leaves and the flowers are the darker side of the mauve which gardeners quite determinedly insist is blue.

‘My lady’ doesn’t bulk up over well. Even in quite heavy border soil which most other hardy geraniums here love.

And I cannot yet bring myself to risk division. Especially since my friend, the donor, died. Neither of us had known she was going to. And so this, her last gift, was a special one. 

Early this Spring, in a different part of the garden I noticed, while weeding the border, a seedling with a dark cast to the leaves. I leave all interesting seedlings now even if they are in the wrong place and periodically round them up. And so I watched as the leaves darkened and it budded up.

And here it is:

The Dark Lady Mark II at the front and to right of centre.

How it got there I haven’t a clue.

But I am as pleased as punch. It is exactly what that border needed there at this time of year.

True serendipity!