Those dark—almost black—blooms, the ribbed light-green and while calyx, that jaunty little curl at the tip of the petals, what's not to love? Well I suppose that they're frost-tender and I can't manage to over winter them.
There is one other salvia to be found in my garden, Salvia clevelandii 'Alpine Form', but I don't have a photo of it, because these photos are all from the gardens I visited in New York. Where I started to have a change of heart about salvia...
Back in 2014 I wrote a story on salvia for the Oregon Association of Nurseries. The story was assigned to me, I didn't chose it. I knew nothing about salvia and didn't have any interest in learning, but learn I did. I interviewed nursery folk, and read, and wrote. I faked it, but I still didn't care for salvia. Well, until now.
These Salvia discolor photos are all from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, several containers were grouped by the visitors center.
I've never grown this plant in a container, I think that's going to change though, they looked great.
But enough about that salvia, there were others! At the New York Botanical Garden there was this mash-up. Truth be told I paid zero attention to the red/pink flowers, is that a salvia too? It might be, but my eyes were drawn to the tall plant in the back...
It's Salvia mexicana 'Tula' and I love the chartreuse and blue combination as well as the very graphic arrangement of the blooms on each stem.
This white fluffy number was in another part of the NY Botanical Garden, I was kind of in love, but wondered if there was more to the flowers.
I finally found this stem, it looks like maybe the flowers are white? Once home I did a little research and found Salvia 'White Flame' PP32429.
At Wave Hill I saw this, Salvia leucantha Danielle's Dream ['Ferpink'] PP21,734 (Pink Mexican Sage).
This color combo of pink and white is pretty much my worse nightmare, my teeth hurt just looking at this photo. I was only paying attention because I feared this is what the plant I loved at the NYBG (Salvia 'White Flame') actually looked like in flower.
Then in another section at Wave Hill, this. Yes! White flowers not pink, so I was able to feel sure that it's a thing. White flowers aren't usually my jam, I love the fuzz though!
More from Wave Hill, Salvia coccinea 'Forest Fire' (Texas sage cultivar)
And Salvia confertiflora (Red Velvet Sage), oh my!
I got lucky capturing that red ant (?) in the red velvet.
This one is even more tender than Salvia discolor, but I am definitely going to hunt it down next spring.
One more, this one unlabeled.
But a hit with the locals...
So are you a salvia lover? What are your favorites? Do you grow them as annuals or are they reliable perennials in your garden?
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