GBBD: Shiny New Salvias

Salvia 'Hot Lips'  looking shiny and luminescent in the sunshine after the rain. I love how the
flower colour changes depending on the temperature
My thoughts are beginning to gel re the revamped terrace beds which I've been mulling over for quite a while now since the demise of the 'sentinel' conifers early this year. 1. Rosa 'Kew Gardens' to froth over a larger version of a peony basket which NAH has promised to make, and 2. Have lots more Dahlias of the single flowered kind for the bees.

3. has taken me a bit by surprise because it involves Salvias, something that's relatively new for the garden. I've tried (and killed) S. 'Hot Lips' before, but the small plant I acquired at Combe Trenchard in early June has thwarted any attempts for an early demise so far.

I did think I'd planted it in the wrong place as this year's Dahlias were threatening to shade it out completely. Instead it's sprawled comfortably from underneath them and looks like it's leaning over the terrace wall for a long chat. The Dahlias' days are numbered and next year the Salvia will be growing well way before they poke themselves back up through the soil. Close by is S 'Royal Bumble', bought entirely for its chucklesome name and deep red flowers. Sadly there's no blooms to show you at the moment, so you'll have to wait until next year.

I first encountered S 'Amistad' at Capel Manor in June and it's my plant of the year. It's a taller Salvia with the most amazing deep purply blue flowers. I bought these at Tatton, so they're also a souvenir of happy times :)

Has a plant taken you by surprise this year? Any favourites to report?

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


  1. are they hardy salvias? If so you need to cut them back hard in spring or they get too leggy and woody and dont perform that well or so the salvia lady said who I heard speak recently. She said you had to be cruel to be kind to salvias!!

  2. Hi Helen - I had a long chat with Derry Watkins about them, who is a real Salvia enthusiast of both the hardy and tender kinds.

    These are at the hardier end of the scale and I will be cutting them back hard in the spring.

    She enthused greatly over Salvia 'Amistad' and I bought S. 'Royal Bumble' from her.

    Karen has S. 'Hot Lips' and seeing her massive clump of it at her garden last year is what persuaded me to try it again.

  3. PS They're all going in the terraced beds which face south, so the wall and aspect should also give them some protection. I've successfully overwintered Dahlias here, including through that really bad winter, so they should be OK. *crosses fingers*

  4. Love Salvias (as you know) and I think they will do very well for you now your trees have gone. I grow Royal bumble and hot lips together and Salvia Amistad is a wonderful thing.
    Sometimes the salvias seem a little late to come into growth in the spring and sometimes (in this garden) they hardly seem to take a breath before starting all over again. Hot lips is still going strong here - although it is all white at the moment.

  5. Hi Karen - mine went all white a couple of months ago and it's only just gone back to this lovely white/red combo.

    Re plants coming back, I always remember Jekka McVicar saying after that really bad winter not to draw any conclusions until May as many plants which look dead will grow back from ground level. She was right - I thought I'd lost my olive and myrtle and they came back strongly.

    I now have the weather data from my local agricultural college 5 miles away. They measure temps at various soil levels as well as the usual ones discussed in the weather forecast. It's interesting to see how warm the soil can remain, even though it's a severe frost at ground level.

  6. I love my 'Hot Lips'. I have three planted in my front garden and passersby often ask me about them. The other salvias that perform really well for me are 'Wendy's Wish' and the salvia relation Pineapple Sage.

  7. Black and blue salvia has been a stalwart in the garden this year, as has been a Red salvia, which I purchased as an herb and is now a small shrub. I am sure neither will survive our Nova Scotia zone 6 winters although we had a frost a few days ago and both went might try to dig out and bring inside. Salvias are wonderful aren't they.

  8. Marisa - welcome :) I like the sound of Wendy's Wish - on the list of possible additions for next year :)

    Gardeningbren - yes they are. We're just about warm enough to have a choice of Salvias to grow as either annual or perennial varieties, though some of the latter may be on the tender side and taking cuttings is a wise thing to do.

  9. I MUST find 'Amistad' next that color!

  10. Scott - I hope it does make over to your side of the pond. If one of our top nurserywomen is enthusing about it (which she is), you know you've made a wise choice!

  11. Jan Willetts via her email subscription: 'I have "hot lips in a tub on the patio and hope to keep it going through the winter in an unheated greenhouse.'

    Jan - that sounds just the job. Did you take cuttings too?


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