The colour of these Geranium or cranesbill flowers is hard to describe. The flowers are lavender blue on the face and lilac on the reverse but the petals are translucent so the colours merge together when the light shines through them. The veins on the petals and the filaments of the stamens are magenta, but the anthers and pollen are navy blue. Look at this mix through a camera lens and the colour becomes strangely fugitive. Move the camera an inch and the image on the screen shifts to a bleached sky blue. Maybe my camera’s not up to the subtlety but there’s something strange about this colour too.
Back in the days of colour film, blue flowers were notoriously difficult to photograph and the colour was quick to fade on the resulting print. Modern digital cameras give such realistic colours that it comes as a surprise to be pulled up short by a colour the camera doesn’t seem to like. Awkward for someone who needs to illustrate a plant catalogue with true to life images but maybe no bad thing for recording my garden.
The flowers on this plant (a Geranium Rozanne I spilt into three last autumn) are held well clear of the leaves on strong, wiry stems. The flowers bounce and sway in the gentlest breeze. As the flower ages the colour deepens and the magenta veins acting as honey guides for the bees lose their brilliance. There’s too much going on to record on one photo and it’s good to be reminded to rely on my eyes, not just my camera.