Su­per salvias

EDP Norfolk - - Garden Guide -

Shrubby salvias are among the best plants for a pro­fu­sion of flow­ers over a long sea­son and look fan­tas­tic in high sum­mer when many plants can look a lit­tle tired. There is a huge se­lec­tion to choose from with more ex­cit­ing va­ri­eties be­ing re­leased ev­ery year.

One of the most pop­u­lar is Salvia mi­cro­phylla ‘Hot Lips’ which pro­duces an abun­dance of usu­ally two toned red and white flow­ers from early sum­mer un­til the frosts, it grows to around a me­tre or slightly more in a favoured site. A favourite of mine is

S. ja­men­sis ‘Nachtvlin­der’ (Night Moth) which has stun­ning dark vel­vet-like ma­roon-pur­ple flow­ers on a com­pact shrub around 75cm tall, mak­ing it an ex­cel­lent choice for the front of a border.

An­other good com­pact va­ri­ety is S. ‘Dysons Joy’; grow­ing to around 60cm it has pretty bi-colour pale and dark pink flow­ers which, like the other va­ri­eties, are borne from early sum­mer through to late au­tumn. There are many other fab­u­lous va­ri­eties in an ever in­creas­ing range of colours, all with aro­matic fo­liage and flow­ers which are much loved by bees.

These salvias all pre­fer full sun and good drainage and given this are fairly hardy; any prun­ing is best done in mid-spring, cut­ting plants back to new growth or trim­ming to size. In cold and wet win­ters plants can be frosted down to the ground but may still reshoot from be­low soil level so it’s worth wait­ing a few ex­tra weeks be­fore re­plac­ing.

Salvia ‘Dysons Joy’ Salvia ja­men­sis ‘Nachtvlin­der’ (Night Moth)

Salvia mi­cro­phylla ‘Hot Lips’

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