June is Perennial Gardening Month & Salvias are one of our favourites
Salvia are mainstays of the garden, represented as culinary herbs, free flowering summer annuals, and summer blooming perennials.
Two characteristics shared by many salvias are fragrant foliage & drought tolerance, but colourful summer blooms that attract pollinators is perhaps their most outstanding feature!
In the past few years, a series of summer-loving salvia hybrids has been introduced that grow robustly and produce flowers all season on tall stems, and are said to attract various pollinators including hummingbirds, bees & butterflies.
Although these 5 amazing plants are considered tender perennials, they are all drought tolerant and produce a spectacular show all summer in the garden or in containers!
TIP: Plant in full sun and well-drained soil.
- ‘Wendy’s Wish’ – Introduced by Wendy Smith of Australia in 2005, plants can grow to 3 feet or more in a single season, and produce dozens of magenta pink flowers on each stem. ‘Wendy’s Wish’ was the first introduction of what has become the “Wish Collection”
- ‘Ember’s Wish’ – Discovered as a “sport” of ‘Wendy’s Wish’, sharing many of the same characteristics, but with distinctive coral blossoms.
- ‘Love and Wishes’ – This multiple award winner was bred by Salvia enthusiast John Fraser of New South Wales, Australia and introduced to great accolades at the 2015 Chelsea Flower. Each plant produces masses of stunning deep purple flowers!
- ‘Amistad’ Discovered in 2013 by Rolando Uria in Argentina, who named the plant “friendship sage”, as it was his intention to share the plant freely amongst friends! ‘Amistad’ has stunning dark purple flowers encased in a black sheath (known as a calyx). Hardy to -8 C – get this one through the winter by planting in a protected, well drained spot in the garden, but make sure that it is placed where it can be admired all summer!
- ‘Black and Blue’ – The flowers of this cultivar of Anise-scented sage (Salvia guaranitica) are aptly described by the Missouri Botanical Garden as “cobalt blue” with a very dark purple, almost black calyx.
By: Scott Pearce