There is a massive range of salvias; some annuals such as the fiery red variety we find in bedding schemes, but there are also a great number of perennial varieties suitable for planting in the cottage garden or herbaceous border.
In addition to the varieties with masses of small flowers on spikes such as Salvia nemerosa, there are others such as Salvia 'Hot Lips' which produce larger flowers in reds and pinks but more spaced out on the flower spike.
It is free flowering, making a great display in your borders during June and July during which time it is good at attracting butterflies and bees.
The flowers open first at the base of the flower spike and open in succession moving to the top of the spike. By dead heading this spike as it goes over you encourage new flower spikes to be produced from slightly lower down giving a long flowering period.
It is very easy to grow and is generally disease free. Being deciduous (loses its leaves over winter) it shoots away in the spring with fresh dark green leaves.
Salvia grows best in full sun in a well drained position, most varieties grow to between 45cm and 60 cm (1½ ft– 2 ft) and so are ideal for the front to middle of a herbaceous border.
The blue spikes of salvia nemerosa complement veronicas and lavenders whilst the pinks of Salvia 'Pink Friesland' go together with patio roses.
|Salvia 'Hot Lips'||Salvia 'Pink Friesland'||Salvia 'Rhapsody in Blue'||Salvia patens|