Super Salvias

Salvias are fantastic plants to grow and they provide a vast array of colours that will brighten any garden. They have a fragrant foliage and are excellent at attracting pollinators. These plants just scream summer – with so many available they will suit everyone’s taste. Salvias are very diverse and can be used in containers, borders and as ground cover. Salvias can range from annuals, to hardy and long blooming herbaceous and evergreen perennials. Most can be propagated by seed or cuttings.  Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ flowers beautifully between the last of spring bulbs and the beginning of early summer perennials.  It prefers full sun and requires no staking and typically can re-flower again in late summer.

DSC_0264

Plants with Purpose

Plants can be used and viewed as functional objects. They connect the garden together and highlight the visual appeal.  A plant shouldn’t be put in a garden unless it has a purpose.  Some typical plant uses are listed below:

Structure

Screening

Foliage Colour

Floral display

Texture

Softening of garden features

Places for the eye to rest

Plants can be used in masses, others as individual specimens, and others in challenging growing conditions. It is also important to be unsentimental about plants once their purpose has past and then remove them. This helps rejuvenate areas in the garden and helps provide space for new plants. It allows the theme of the garden to continue and flow. The personality of a plant is also an important point to consider. Is the plant best as a lone specimen in a pot or better used continuously throughout a bed for contrast and visual interest?  Plants can help define a space, create and open closed areas as well as frame views. Think about your future plant choice wisely!

DSC_0906

Flowering Bulbs (Geophytes)

Bulbs are beautiful yet short lived by producing a great floral display at once, storing food for the following year, then becoming dormant. The bulb itself is essentially a large storage organ. For successful blooms the following year the foliage must be allowed to ripen naturally and not be cut back until it dries and turns brown. Inter-planting with other attractive plants helps disguise dying foliage. Botanists and horticulturalists refer to this group as ‘geophytes’ which is a plant with a bulb, tuber, corm or some other storage structure. Bulbs are typically most widely seen in spring eg. tulips and daffodils, but there are some summer bulbs like lilies and autumn bulbs such as Colchicums. Bulbs can be used in beds, woodland, lawns and containers. Sweeps of vibrant bulbs add colour to perennial borders while other plants are dormant. The vast majority of bulbs are planted or transplanted when dormant. Small bulbs can be planted with a bulb planter that removes a small plug of the soil. For larger bulbs a large fuel powered drill can even be used or long handled bulb planter.

216648_10150148194193546_2819997_n

Clematis viticella ‘Etoile Violette’

DSC_0005This variety is long flowering and typically easy to grow. It can be grown up a tree, shrub, arbour, or even in a combination with a contrasting climbing rose. The variety ‘Etoile Violette’ is fully hardy and produces wonderful displays of deep purple flowers which have a light yellow centre. It flowers from July to September and is known for being able to stand up to windy conditions. It is also resistant to clematis wilt and prefers a neutral well drained soil. The flowers are produced on the current year’s growth and belong to the horticultural group Viticella. It can be propagated by layering or semi hardwood cuttings. It falls under Clematis Pruning Group 3. This means it should be pruned in late winter or early spring when the buds show signs of growth. When this happens cut back all the old stems to the lowest part of healthy buds 15-30cm above the soil. If young clematis plants are left unpruned they will produce long stems with only flowers produced at the top. Why not try this stunning and easy to grow clematis in your garden.