Saturday, 23 July 2016

Salvia Kate Glen

I was approached by Unwins early in 2015 offering me a chance to trial and review one of their exclusive herbaceous perennials.  The plant in question was Salvia Kate Glen. Initially I was a bit hesitant. I have not had a great deal of success growing Salvias in my garden. Very few, in fact only one single Salvia has ever successfully made it through winter in the ground and come through the other side as a strong and healthy specimen worthy enough off keeping it going.  After checking out the blurb on this particular Salvia on Unwin's Website my mind was made up since they list it as frost hardy. 

Salvia Kate Glen
picture courtesy of Unwins

Here's what Unwins say about Salvia Kate Glen.
This new ornamental sage is real showstopper. The pink flowers are held on 45cm (17in) tall, dense spikes that will bloom all summer long, gradually deepening to a glowing violet, providing an ever changing display of colour for your garden. They’re perfect for a sunny position in a border or container where the heat of the sun will intensify the already heavily scented foliage.

Salvia ‘Kate Glen’ is exclusive to Unwins. It’s drought tolerant and frost hardy so is perfect for a garden in full sun with free draining soil. As well as the colour changing flowers it also has deliciously scented foliage. Height 90cm (36in) Spread 60cm (24in).

There was an initial delay with their dispatching of these particular plants.  They reached me at the end of July.  The plugs I received were incredibly healthy and even though the plugs were small they were exactly as I had expected.  I had no surprise in the size department.  Too small to go directly in the ground.  They were potted up into 9cm pots. 

Healthy plugs received end of July 2016
Potted up ready for some tlc

Fast forward 2 months (end of September) and although we had not experienced a great summer they had made good progress and were now sizeable enough to do into the ground.  Healthy strong root growth, always a promising sight.  

Root growth end of September 2015

I had a new rose (R. Darcy Bussell) in need of planting out too.  I had already extended part of the summer border to receive the Rose and Salvia.  I remember reading that Roses and Salvia make perfect planting partners, although I can't quite remember where nor the theory behind it all.           

The winter, as many of you will recall, got off to a pretty wet start and for a few days the young Salvia plants found themselves victim off excess water.  The ground here had never flooded before but this year it did.  Just my kind of luck!  I worried about their survival for a bit and even contemplated lifting them and popping them back into pots but no I'd let them get by without a little help from the gardener.  Come April the temperatures started rising and the Salvias were showing signs that they had survived, albeit a little pale.  I should point out though that many of the perennials and shrubs alike looked similar.  I treated them to a bit of a seaweed tonic and that soon put them right.  

Come June the 3 plants were lush, healthy and as you can see just raring to go.  The dark stems are quite a feature too I think.

And this evening, see for yourself.  I think you'll agree they certainly are impressive looking plants, despite their delayed start in my garden.  The torrential rain we received the other day saw many perennials almost on their knees, Salvia Kate Glen remained reasonably upright and perked themselves right up a few hours later without assistance or support.  Loved by the bees and completely pest and disease free here in my garden.  What more can a gardener ask for?  I think it is quite the 'showstopper'.          

Salvia Kate Glen, Rosa Darcy Bussell
Phlox paniculata Violet Flame in the background

Kate and Darcy - the perfect pair!

Salvia Kate Glen, Erigeron, Sedum and Neptata
sun lovers in the border together


  1. Hello, your Salvia Kate Glen is very nice.
    I also have Salvia in my garden. I like it so much,
    Salvia and Geranium 'Rozanne' are my favorites.
    All the best for you!
    Edith from Germany

  2. It's a really attractive Salvia, Angie. I like that the flowers change in color as they age. I don't have great luck with most Salvias either but I'd be willing to try that one. I wonder how long it will take for the cultivar to make its way to the US?!

  3. I only have one Salvia in my garden because of my limited sun. But it's a reliable returner, year after year. Love your 'Kate Glen'! The colors are magical!

  4. I've only just started planting salvias in the garden here as I don't think they like my heavy soil. I'm taking cuttings as I'm sure our winters will be too wet for them. This one is one that I could try if I can find it, it looks lovely.

  5. I wonder how they would fare after a prolonged keen frost.

  6. I love the salvia and how fabulous it looks growing with Darcy Bussell.

  7. Success! They look very healthy.
    I'm afraid I can't grow them because my garden is very shady, but I always admire salvias in the local public herbaceous borders.
    Best wishes :)

  8. 'Kate Glen' certainly looks as if she could be a star Angie. I will look out for her. I treated myself to salvia 'Love and Wishes' earlier this year and am most smitten. It is tender though so I will be taking cuttings imminently :)

  9. Kate looks like it would be worth giving it a go, I lost my salvias in the very cold winter.

  10. I'm rather fond of Salvia's and that looks like a good one. I've got S. Nemorosa 'Caradonna' which is very hardy, and that looks similar, so hopefully just as hardy.

  11. Hello Angie girl and yes this cultivar seems to be coming along wonderfully in your garden.
    I have an older cultivar salvia that is having a tough time with some naughty insects chompin away at it ... but it manages to peek above the mess once in a while and looks reassonable ? haha ... this one is very pretty and seems to like your garden so keep growing with it girl!

  12. Lovely salvia Angie, nice color! I had one some years ago but was not hardy enough and didn't survive winter. Is this variety hardy? I love combination salvia and rose!

  13. Love Salvias Angie but like you I don't find them hardy, quite impressed by this one but I doubt it would have survived a "proper" winter.

  14. Hi Angie, that's a great Salvia, any that survive our cold wet climate is a bonus, love the dark stems too :)

  15. Ciao Angie, è bellissima! Poi fare talee di salvia è un piacere!

    Un saluto e a risentirci presto!

  16. I completely agree -- they are indeed show stoppers. Too bad that they can only some frost. I guess they can't handle 2 feet of snow for couple of months, can they? I would really love to have them then. And, those are lovely flowers you have together.

  17. Kate and Darcey are indeed lovely together, and this Salvia looks like a rather compact plant which I prefer as it is easier to place in the border or even in a container. Lovely!

  18. You have not updated your blog for a long time. I hope everything is okay with you and your family.

  19. What KL said. I don't get email notifications and it just occurred to me that I hadn't seen your blog in a long time. What's up?

  20. I missed you on the blog for a long time. I hope everything is oke with you and your family?
    Wishing all the best Angie.

  21. Salvia Kate Glen looks very nice. The colour really radiates. I grow a number of salvias some come through the winter OK some do not. But I have never been disappointed and I always take some cuttings as insurrance

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  23. Great post and lovely garden photographs! Just discovered your blog.

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  25. Bellissime fotografie.
    Felice fine settimana.


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