Thursday, October 15, 2009
In the Garden: More on Salvia
To continue the discussion of annuals that are still blooming their hearts out, I have to add the salvias that are not usually grouped with annuals. In particular, there is the Pineapple Sage, which may be found among herb plants more often than with annuals at a garden center. I put one in a large container this year and it took a while to bloom, but it has become huge and full of bright red blossoms that attract hummingbirds. As a plus, the foliage smells like pineapple when you rub the leaves.
Another favorite of mine is the Black and Blue Salvia from Brazil. I don't have a good picture of one right now, but this plant is also slow to start going in the spring, but then easy to grow big. The flowers are a bright clear blue with black on the stem. Hummers love it too. My friend Frank has a large plant that survives the Illinois winter in a protected space next to the foundation of a shed, so he generously gives me a start each spring.
Of course, there are lots of great perennials salvias, such as the pretty purple May Night and some choice tiny alpine ones as well, but, for now, we'll just tip our hats to the ones still in bloom on this rainy chilly October day.