Every summer and autumn Salvias come into their own as being incredible garden performers. They have a bit of a cult following among plant enthusiasts, and with good reason as they can tolerate heat, drought and don’t mind bouts of rain and humidity.
During March, Eden Gardens has a selection of Salvias in focus. These include the ‘Wishes’ range, where part proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which helps wishes for children with life threatening medical conditions.
There are three cultivars in the ‘Wishes’ range. ‘Embers Wish’ (top middle)is a vibrant coral, ‘Wendy’s Wish’, (bottom image, which was discovered by Wendy Smith in Rosebud on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria) which is a vibrant magenta, and ‘Love and Wishes’ (below top right) which has deep purple flowers. All have a colourful calyx which remains for some time after the flowers drop, extending its season for many more months, and a tight, dome shaped habit.
In the gardens of Eden we have a few Salvias too. There is the prolific flowering Bog Sage (S. uliginosa), yellow Forsythia Sage (Salvia madrensis) and the Anise scented sage (S. guarantica) which has intense true blue coloured flowers. Both grow to 1.5m tall and make lovely backdrops in the border for smaller types. There are two lovely purple ones as well. Meadow Sage ‘Amethyst’ (S. neromosa), was raised by the famous Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, and the False Sage (Lepechiniahastata), which has marvellous grey-green leaves, below top left.
By: Meredith Kirton