I’m not one for placing too much emphasis on having flowers all year round in gardens, there are so many elements that make a good garden and flowers are just one of them, however
during a quick visit to Wisley gardens recently to return a library book, I was reminded how much I love salvias.
There are over 900 salvia types, the most familiar being the shrubby types, commonly known as Sage (Salvia officinalis).
It’s a fabulous herb and also has great ornamental value as a small shrub, it does best when grown in well drained soil in a sunny position.
But it’s the late flowering perennial salvias that I saw at Wisley that are a real favourite. Their small, elegant jewel-like flowers are even more appreciated as autumn sets in and flower colour becomes more precious. Despite the reduction in daylight and drop in night-time temperature there were plenty of flowers.
I also like the tall bulk of the plant that’s developed by this stage in the year, as many other plants dwindle away.
These * herbaceous perennials, originally from the United States and South America, thrive in the South of England as long as they’re planted in well-drained soil in a sunny, sheltered position. A protective mulch of compost is a sensible precaution, given the last two harsh winters that we’ve had here.
If your garden doesn’t have these conditions you can grow these New World Salvias in large pots. Use a mix of multi purpose compost and a loam based compost, adding a generous handful of grit to help the drainage.
- * herbaceous perennials: most die right back in winter, but grow and flower again next year