I’ve been in an insatiable mood for plant shopping lately. I found this variegated form of Salvia ‘Berggarten’ yesterday at Roger’s Gardens and am putting up its portrait immediately because it may be its last. This salvia and my soil share a long-running, infamous incompatibility, but this sage was just so beautiful I had to bring it home, even if it’s only for a brief fling in the garden. It’s been years since I’ve attempted to grow the large-leaved form of Salvia officinalis, and it shames me to admit to being foiled by such a basic herb, but so it is. Maybe this time I’ll win with the variegated. If/when it starts to fail, I can always gather the leaves for the kitchen, so there’s that consolation. Grown by Native Sons. It’d be a safer bet in a raised bed if you have one.
Loree collects all our end-of-month favorites on her blog Danger Garden, so I’ll list a few of mine this month. I know I talk it up a lot, but I’m so glad California/North American native grass Aristida purpurea is making itself at home in the garden. Not so at home as that scary, ineradicable garden squatter, the feathergrass Stipa tenuissima, but instead seeding modestly and nonthreateningly here and there. I have noticed an impulse by some (Marty!) to reach out to pull it from this particular corner where it brushes against our legs. How can a grassy caress be a bad thing? Plus it’s a nice buffer between a sprawling clump of the well-armed Agave lophantha.
It does prefer to reseed along walkways. I especially like its gauzy curtains with succulents.
Chartreuse-flowered Pelargonium gibbosum was discovered at the South Bay Geranium Society show and sale earlier this summer at South Coast Botanic Garden. A plant only for zealots of the color chartreuse and/or odd caudiciform pelargoniums. It goes by the unfortunate common name of Gouty Pelargonium. What’s not to love?
One of the two dark-leaved dahlias in the stock tank, ‘Twyning’s after 8.’ There’s got to be a racy story behind a name like that, but all I can uncover is that Twyning is a sleepy village in Gloucestershire on the River Avon. Yet who knows what kind of wild party town Twyning turns into after 8? The green leaves belong to Copper Canyon Daisy, Tagetes lemmonii.
I’m thrilled to have sideritis self-sow. I’ve grown a few kinds so am not completely sure of its identity, but it’s probably S. oroteneriffae.
Gymnocalycium ragonesei, still alive and blooming after two years under my care. It’s looking a little shrunken, but what a trouper!
I don’t even try heucheras anymore. For dependably splashy leaves all summer, it’s usually plectranthus. This summer it’s Pelargonium ‘Vancouver Centennial.’
Have a great weekend! (Maybe a little more plant shopping for me…)
For Twyning’s After 8 – here in the UK there is a famous and delicious after dinner mint called an After Eight. Dark chocolate and white mint fondant inside. The colours that the famous dahlia replicates.
Nick, thank you so much for that info! It’s a great dahlia too.
And a nice looking Phylica with ‘Vancouver Centennial’. I’ve given up on Heucheras, too, but I’ve also killed and given up on ‘Vancouver Centennial’.
I love the Dahlia, even if it wasn’t named after a candy. The candy name is another positive.
I cannot get the variegated form of that salvia to grow either. Have tried too many tines. I especially like the ones with purple in the leaves. Annie’s Annuals has some interesting comments about it: leave it in a pot, don’t pick the leaves during flowering maybe or maybe not and it goes deciduous!
@Hoov, I hate to even mention the phyllica — knock wood, etc.
@Jane, thank you for that link. I’m not sure I can handle it being deciduous in winter, so it might be another summer annual, if it makes it through summer at all.
I also have an awful record with the culinary sages – what’s up with that?! I’m contemplating the replacement of some, if not all, of my Mexican feather grass (which I know will take years to eradicate). The California fescue I grow looked really good this year after our winter rains so that’s one candidate but I’ll have to check into the new-to-me Aristida too. As to that chartreuse Pelargonium, how did I miss that at the South Bay show?
Kris, so I’m not alone with this sage! I’ve seen photos of Berggarten as big as a santolina but they always fail with me. That was the only pelarg. of its kind at the show. It wasn’t in flower but had interesting succulent leaves, so I asked a docent about it, and she happened to have old copies of a pelarg. society journal with that pelarg on the cover in flower. Sold!
Ok count me in on the sage-o-cide issue. I have tried more than one, more than once. Such a great foliage plant..when living. By the way, I completely support any and all plant shopping.
Oh that Gymnocalycium ragonesei!