Heat Brings Out the Best in Salvias

Salvia 'Wendy's Wish' is nearly five feet tall.
In the blink of an eye, it seems, the garden goes from snowdrops to salvia. We look out our windows at the bare ground craving green, and the next thing we know the paths are obliterated by the heavy stems of hydrangea and five-foot tall Anemone. What happens in between is called summer, and that's nearly over. But there is another month or even more to enjoy the bounteous show.

Salvia give up their blooms in earnest, vying with Asters for exuberance. Their colors and forms range from tall and rangy to squat and congested.

Salvia koyamae

Japanese yellow sage, or Salvia koyamae, really holds back on its blooms, today still sprouting one blossom at a time before its stems stretch above the huge, dense, hairy foliage. This sage thrives in shade, and I'll be dividing it and moving it around in the spring. When I get a new plant I'm not sure about I put it in a spot where it can be eradicated if necessary. With Salvia koyamae, it won't be.

This plant took a season to become established, but now it's boasting several of flower stems and looks like a keeper.

Salvia coccinea is one of those great "see through" plants that provide dots of great color and flowers for hummingbirds.
Way back when, I discovered Salvia 'Coral Nymph', a plant that needs to be planted enmasse, or at least in groups. I'd at first found the plant in garden centers, but then discovered how easy it is to grow from seed, which I found at Renee's Garden Seeds. But this Salvia reseeds sporadically for me, and it's always a treat when it does. One thing I like about this species is that its leaves are fragrant--not a sagey scent, but a sweet scent that's almost fruity. Combine that with the fact that my hummingbirds love them, and it's hard to consider a season without these beauties.

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