Do you ever have that feeling that your garden is past it’s best by the middle of the summer, that most plants have finished flowering and there’s a bit of a lull before the autumn colour kicks in?
I think some fireworks in plant form are good for this time of year, not something that you’re coaxing to carry on flowering, but plants that wait until this time of year to put on a show.
There are lots of late flowering perennials that are just the job for this, but shrubby salvias are one of my favourites. They’re originally from South America and the Southern Sates of the U.S., so English winters can be difficult for some of them.
They do best planted in well drained soil where there’s plenty of sunshine. They grew in my last garden on a sunny bank, but most of it was too shady for them. I’m going to plant some in this garden, probably with a handful of grit in the planting hole to help with drainage.
I mention this now because May is a good time to plant them,when everything is generally much warmer and they can get off to a good start, making a healthy root system. If you already have them in your garden, now is the time to prune them.
Sage is part of this family, a handsome shrub in its’ own right, and it will grow soft, grey leaves if you give it trim now.
These are some of the hardiest Salvias:
Salvia Amsted: 1.2 metres
Salvia involucrata ‘Boutin’: bright pink flowers, 1.2 metres.
Salvia ‘Silas Dyson’: purple buds, opening onto crimson flowers, 90cm.
Salvia ‘Dysons Joy’: two-tone pink/white flowers, 60cm.
You can buy them online from Ashwoods Nursey…. I think I’ll be doing this.
Meanwhile feast your eyes on these.
What do you think, fancy growing any of these?
all photos: Jill Anderson