Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

GBBD: A Purple Patch


I've been really pleased with how my new Salvia 'Amistad' (well, bought at RHS Tatton show in 2012) has settled into the garden this year.

It's stood up strongly to the autumnal storms which lashed their way over the garden the past couple of weeks. Seeing the stems swaying in the wind reminds me of the pictures of prayer flags I've seen fluttering over the Himalayas. You might think I'm being a bit fanciful, but I at least can see a link between the two.

It's a most dramatic plant, with its dark almost black stems holding court in my large terrace bed. They're quite a contrast to the pinks and reds you can see dotted around in the background above. It's quite tall for a Salvia, so I'm glad I've placed it in a corner, where it leans over conversationally as I make my way down the steps towards the shed.

I've been thinking quite a bit about this 'purple patch' lately. Most of my purple happens earlier in the year, though I do currently have a softer echo with my Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' in the double terrace bed opposite. Some of the sights I saw whilst on holiday in Ireland have brought about this musing; I'll have more to show you on that score another day.

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

25 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you, a great plant, very dramatic and a lovely rich colour. Happy GBBD.

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    1. Derry Watkins at Special Plants also enthused about this plant when I told her I'd bought one last year. We're in very fine company :)

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  2. It's lovely, very striking, and I do see what you mean about the Himalayan prayer flags - I love seeing them strung across the mountains. And it looks great with the pink echinacea behind it. I'm guessing the bees like it too. My next-door neighbour has all purple flowers in a border, and it looks great.

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    1. Hi CJ - my double terrace bed is nearly all-purple in the spring once the daffodils have gone over. I love it. You are right about the bees :)

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  3. Now that salvia is in my top ten plant wish list VP and your photo is increasing my iwantitnowis. May have to go for a lie down. On a serious note it's encouraging to read that it came through what was a wet but also an extremely prolonged winter. Will definitely have to track one down next year.

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    1. Anna - you need one or several of these! It's growing next to a wall which also helped my dahlias come through that winter too. Everything got a hefty dose of mulch last autumn too which I think really did the trick.

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  4. Beautiful!
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea

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    1. Thanks Lea - will be over to see your garden later :)

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  5. This is the cutting I was given last week when staying at Haddon Lake House. The cutting is growing well so I hope for a plant or two next year, it really is fantastic!

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  6. Like Anna, I have that salvia on my wishlist, truly beautiful. I like the idea of a purple patch.

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    1. Janet - I think it would a fine addition to your new garden :)

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  7. Love it....I never have had luck with salvia...maybe Ill try again...yours is beautiful..happy gbbd!

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    1. Welcome Janie! I managed to kill a few Salvia too. I've found mulching in the autumn really helps.

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  8. I don't think you're fanciful. I knew exactly what you meant. They do look a little like prayer flags fluttering in the wind. I tried to grow 'Amistad' for more than one season, but it was too chilly here that winter. Glad you have it though.~~Dee

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    1. That's a real shame Dee. We had a really hard winter last year, so I was really pleased this came through OK. However, I suspect a normal Oklahoma winter is probably even harder than what we experience.

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  9. Yes, a lovely plant. I would have been interested in seeing how it would have done in the strong winds we experienced in upstate New York Monday before last. Happy GBBD.

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    1. Welcome bookworm! It's a tall Salvia, but seems to withstand heavy weather pretty well. My plant isn't staked BTW.

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  11. It's a beauty - I saw this Salvia growing at Wisley but it looks wonderful against the echinaceas in the photo. I love the idea of the flower 'leaning over conversationally' as you pass! I certainly always chat to my plants!
    (Sorry, I removed my comment before as I spotted a grammatical error! Tut!)

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    1. Hi Caro - I specialise in leaning, conversational plants ;)

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  12. Amistad is beautiful. I bought one at Great Dixter in the summer and have been swooning over its deep purple flowers ever since.

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  13. I've never had much luck with salvia either, but 'Amistad' has done fantastically well in my garden. Everyone keeps telling me (in that helpful way that people do) that it's borderline hardy, so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping it pulls through. The other salvia that has done really well is the shrubby Salvia microphylla 'Nachtvlinder', which I bought - coincidentally - from Derry Watkins. It's the most gorgeous deep purple, so if you're looking for another addition to your purple patch ....

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    1. Hi Victoria - I'll keep that one in mind when we visit Special Plants on Thursday :)

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