"Geraniums are one of the most reliable plants in the home garden," states a fact sheet from the University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program. "They can be obtained in flower in late spring and will add color to the garden until frost" [source: URI]
New cultivars, the fact sheet continues, provide almost "shatter-proof" flowers that can withstand wind and rain. For many of us, geraniums are synonymous with Americana. They come in dozens of colors, the leaves can be smooth or fuzzy, the shape bunching or trailing.
Geraniums like a loose, loamy soil and will not do well in a solid, clay soil. Let the soil dry a bit before watering. For best results, water the soil directly and avoid wetting the leaves. For handsome-looking geraniums, break off faded blooms and leaves. Making new plants is usually as easy as sticking a stem with some leaves into moist potting mix.
If it's a more exotic mood you hope to create, the plant on the next page will help achieve that.