Sunday, 16 November 2008
The genus Salvia comprises over 900 species and many cultivars, hybrids and varieties. Some of the best of these for Sydney gardens are the shrubby ones from semi-tropical places like South America, Central America, Mexico and Texas. They will grow quickly to give a mass of blooms over a long period, in a rainbow of colours. They range in height from tall bushes up to 3m down to low groundcovers and neat shrubs of less than 1m in height. They have few pests, are water-wise, and need little care, except for a severe pruning in late winter followed by a dose of fertiliser. Most prefer a sunny spot in the garden, but some can cope with semi-shade and will still flower quite well. Check out our plant directory under Salvia to see a complete listing of the salvias growing in my Sydney garden. There are salvias for every season, but some of the ones which are looking good right now include cerise Salvia chiapensis, pale blue Salvia 'African Sky', bright pink Salvia involucrata 'Joan', brilliant blue Salvia guaranitica Large Form, and the beautiful new hybrid Salvia 'Wendy's Wish'.