Jane, Clive and I were invited to a friend’s 50th which was held in the Aeolian Islands so we decided to add a ‘few’ more weeks and visit some of our plant and tissue culture suppliers plus some new breeders in Europe while we were there. Jane has put some thoughts together to summarise our trip:
Salvia microphylla ‘Musk Pink’ is perfect for small gardens, where you may not have room for some of the larger Sage bushes. Because it grows as a small, round, tight ball of tiny aromatic leaves, dotted all over for months with delightful soft pink flowers, just like the colour of old-fashioned Musk Stick lollies. Musk Pink Sage is almost never out of flower (and evergreen). So it delights our native Honeyeater birds, bees and butterflies (and us) for months on end. So Musk Pink Sage makes a wonderful permanent pot for a sunny spot or on a balcony, and a valuable feature in a small garden or courtyard. Naturally growing as a small, neat ball - it makes an excellent plant for informal topiary balls and low hedges. And it accepts clipping happily if you want to keep it more strictly formal in shape. Salvia microphylla ‘Musk Pink’ is big on flower value for size and space; but equally as tough as it’s bigger Sage cousins. So it revels in sun and heat. It is drought resista
Buddleja davidii ‘Royal Red’ puts on a great show of rich, red-purple flower trusses, from early summer, on through summer and autumn. The flowers are also very rich in nectar and perfume and have a sweet scent like honey. So they are a pleasure for bringing scent and a constant parade of pollinators into the garden. Including native honey-eating birds, bees and butterflies who just cannot leave this lovely shrub alone. Buddleja davidii ‘Royal Red’ forms a gracefully arching, medium sized, evergreen shrub. It is highly valued for long blooming; rich colour and perfume; easy, quick growth; and low maintenance. So Buddleja davidii ‘Royal Red’ is a tough survivor, even in less-than-ideal conditions.
PINK RED VELOUR SAGE Salvia leucantha ‘Red Harry’ A jewel of a Sage, with massed deep ruby red flowers. Each bloom with white lips and looking as if made from velvet. Salvia leucantha ‘Red Harry’ begins to glow with spires of rich ruby colour, just when everything else is exhausted and finished in late summer. Then he continues to blaze all the way into winter celebrate the winter solstice. 1m. High in flower x 70cm rounded mound of foliage. Winter red velvet Velvet Sage is such an apt name. Because an established clump of Salvia leucantha ‘Red Harry’ bears literally hundreds of velvety flower stems, so handily late in the gardening year. The foliage is also attractively velvety. Plus velvety foliage Plus, the foliage is also attractively two toned. With grey green felt uppers to the leaves and white velvet undersides. So any breeze makes the foliage appear to sparkle as it twists and turns. GROWING: Salvia leucantha ‘Red Harry’ Height with flowers: 80cm.to 1.2m.ap