YORKTON - Looking back, what would you say were some of the big successes in your garden plantings last year? One of ours would have been the beautiful dark-blue salvia that we had growing in a large container. It seemed to bloom and bloom, and the dark indigo color was almost electric in the bright sunny spot where the container lived. Salvia would definitely be on our list of ‘things to grow’ this year!
Let’s make some tea and chat about salvias for a few minutes. Salvia is part of the sage family, and there are more than one thousand cousins in the family. Some are annuals, and some are perennials. The salvia we had in our container was an annual, and one with many positive qualities! Allow me to introduce it to you! This pretty plant bloomed all summer; the plant is sturdy and holds up well again wind and weather; it attracts bees and butterflies; grows wonderfully in a container; and the color was simply outstanding.
And talk about easy-care! Salvia like a bright and sunny location; they can do well even in poor soil, as long as it drains well. They do not like wet feet. The plants have very few issues with pests or diseases, and if we deadhead them, they will reward us with a summer of bloom!
If you have grown salvia before, you know that there are two varieties that we might see at the greenhouse this spring. The leaves on both look the same: elongated, dark-green leaves that come to a point. The flowers, though, are each lovely and unique. The salvia that I described to you has long, sturdy stems rising above the leaves, with small blue flowers growing tight against the stem. It grows quite tall, perhaps 18 inches or so. I read that this kind of salvia has the unusual name “mealycup” salvia. Blue and lavender colors are the most common for this plant.
Then there is also the salvia that has flowers that also grow along the stem but are larger: these flowers look like elongated bells, and come in several colors including white, dark purple and red. These are more compact plants, but very lush-looking.
Whichever kind we pick, they will be lovely, because they provide constant bloom and bright colors, plus unusual flowers that give a nice contract of texture in our containers.
I hope that you are checking out the University of Saskatchewan website https://agbio.usask.ca/events/2023 for upcoming online horticultural sessions. Speaking of salvias, there is a session on Thursday, March 9 from 7PM – 9PM called “Surrendering To Salvias” and gardeners can find out everything we need to know about this wonderful plant. You can register up to one hour before the session begins. And be sure to see the other great classes on offer, online, in the coming weeks!
The Yorkton and District Horticultural Society will be holding their first meeting of 2023 on March 15 at the Yorkton Public Library at 7:00 PM. Our special guest will be Dana from Mehan Flowers, and she’ll be telling us about growing specialty cut flowers, perfect for any occasion! Come out, everyone is welcome! You don’t have to be a hort member to attend the presentation. Be watching our website, www.yorktonhort.ca, for new information about upcoming meetings.
Thank you to our friends at YTW for their fine work every week. Have a good week and enjoy your garden planning!