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

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day July 2016

I had been hoping that my roses would be in bloom for this month's Bloom Day Post.  It was a bit touch and go there as temperatures dropped again.  The thermostat as been down to single figures on a few occasions of late.  That's a good old Scottish summer for you!      

It's been a while since I shared the front garden with you all so I thought it would be as good a place to start as any.  Some of you will remember I followed the front garden for 12 months last year.  Planting is now in it's second year and I am extremely pleased with how it all looks.  There has been a few wee tweaks here and there since I last posted about it.  Below is the view from the living room window.  Let me tell you those milk chocolate foxgloves are a haven for bees        

Digitalis parviflora Milk Chocolate in the foreground

The view is equally good as you come in the front gate.  

You can make out the Tropaeolum speciosum doing it's thing through the hedge (excuse the missing section of trellising - I just haven't got round to replacing it yet).  Both Rosa Hot Chocolate and Hemerocallis Golden Chimes were added nearer the tail end of last summer.  For the life of me I can't remember just which plants they replaced.  Obviously nothing memorable.

Taking a step or two closer for a better look, Achillea Inca Gold looks rather good sandwiched between two roses I think.  I planted a sumptuous late flowering red peony to contrast here but it turned out to be wrongly labelled and bloomed white. The peony will be rehomed elsewhere in autumn and I'll try again next year.  I'll be wise enough to wait until I can see the plant in bloom though.

Rosa Lady of Shallot, Achillea Inca Gold and Rosa Fighting Temeraire  

My favourite newbie in the garden this year is this beautiful martagon Lily.  I shall definitely be adding more of these come autumn time.
Lilium martagon Arabian Nights

My favourite rose may have been incredibly slow to get going this year but it seems now to be getting a wriggle on.  R. The Lark Ascending is an incredibly healthy rose.  I love the form of it's blooms. The suggested light fragrance I just can't get but I am happy to forgive it this one fault.

Rosa The Lark Ascending
From the warm shades of the front garden to the cooler shades of the summer border situated near the back door.  As you can see the summer border truly is full to bursting.  Just how I like my borders.  It is a pleasure to sit here and catch scents from around the garden and listen to the bees buzzing and the birds feeding their young.  I note that butterflies are conspicuous by their absence this year.

As you can see I am not one of those gardeners that believe roses should be in beds on their own.  I much prefer them mingling and surrounded by friends. The soil having been improved over the years I feel is rich enough to provide the needs for all the plants growing here.  This border is rarely watered and the only plants that ever receive food of any sort are the roses.  The rest are pretty much left to get on with it.  Gardening like this also helps to keep the weeds down.      

The summer border July 2016
A close up of just a few of the plants blooming in the summer border this week.

Rosa Rhapsody in Blue, Sanguisorba Pink Tanna, Clematis The Vagabond

Rosa Darcy Bussell and Salvia Kate Glen

NOID Erigeron

Geranium pratense Plenum Album

Deutzie Strawberry Fields
Phlox paniculata Violet flame, Nepeta Blue Danube, Geranium psilostemon, Salvia Kate Glen and Erigeron

Geranium robustum, Sanguisorba Pink Tanna and Peony Fragrant Pink Imp

Clematis viticella Mme Julia Correvon.  Clematis texensis Princess of Wales is in there too and will flower soon.

Filling the gap created when I fell into this border.  Some low growing Cosmos.
Cosmos Sonata - white and carmine and Campanula poscharskyana

No garden should be without a scented Philadelphus in my opinion.  You don't need to get up close and personal with P. Belle Etoile.  This particular one copes with copious amounts of water through winter and spring it is often waterlogged at those times of the year.  No matter where you are in the garden you know she's in bloom.  Her scent is heavenly.  Teamed up here beneath the Rowan tree with Ligularia The Rocket.

Ligularia The Rocket and Philadelphus Belle Etoile 

Buddleja globosa currently tucked behind some perennial sunflowers.  I am hoping that next year it will be tall enough to be seen from the front of the border rather than from behind.

Buddleja globosa
For three years now I've been meaning to move this globeflower and each year I forget to do it.  I grows tall reaching from beneath the Cornus and Photinia towards the sun.  It doesn't seem to mind the predicament it has found itself in though.

Trollius chinensis Golden Queen
Allium giganteum
I need to grow Agapanthus in pots here.  The first of those to flower this year is the tender Agapanthus africanus.  When they finally get going I bring them down nearer the house so I can enjoy them more.

Agapanthus africanus with Helenium, Veronicastrum and Persicaria in the background.
In the shadier Enkianthus bed there is not so much going on right now.  Hostas will bloom in a few weeks but right now, one of my favourites and the first ever plant I bought especially for this garden is this creamy white flowering monkshood.  The surrounding greenery really makes this plant stand out.

Aconitum napellus Gletschereis
The last blooms I am sharing with you this post are down in the side garden.  I am so glad I took this shot the other day because now the Aconitums are almost horizontal from the winds we were experiencing last night.  Both plants do grow taller than they should because of the shade they receive.

Aconitum x cammarun Stainless Steel and Peony Sarah Bernhardt

I'd like to leave you on a personal note.  I want to thank everyone for the incredibly kind emails and notes I have received from some of you over this past few weeks.  You know who you are!  My recent bout of ill health, later finish from work in the mornings and child minding Olli is not so much taking their toll but leaving me little time to enjoy gardening, reading, posting and commenting on blogs.  I do pop in from time to time to read some of your posts and although I may only comment on the odd post or two I still enjoy reading what's been happening in your part of the world.  I only hope normal service from Angie's Garden will resume soon since I am on leave from work week after next for a fortnight.  We have decided not to go away and I am forever hopeful that summer may finally arrive here in Scotland so we can enjoy being here at home.  Thank you all for your support and best wishes. Angie.