Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper

In the Garden with Nell Carr

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann
Salvia Gregii ‘Hot Lips’.  Photo by Peter Ashton

Salvia Gregii ‘Hot Lips’.

Photo by Peter Ashton

THERE CAN be few garden plants which can boast more varieties than the sages, or Salvias. A search on line reveals countless species, and each one has a host of cultivars, in colours of red, white, or blue. Salvia gregii seems to be amongst the most prolific in this department with varieties having a colour range from white to palest mauve, blue, purple and red.

There is one yellow flowered variety, S.  aurea, from South Africa. The one pictured, S. gregii ‘Hot Lips’ in the street garden at the Deloraine Commonwealth Bank, is a mixture of both white and red. These seem to do well in Deloraine, as there are some flourishing in the gardens of Grenoch in East Barrack Street. The crushed leaves of most sages have deliciously spicy scents.

The red flowered S.  legans (Pineapple Sage), as the common name indicates, smells of pineapples. Most sages are frost and drought resistant – except for S.  uliginosa, the American Bog Sage. S.   officinalis, both the green and the purple-leaved culinary sages, bear attractive spikes of blue flowers. A check with Meander Valley nurseries reveals that there is a good variety of Salvias available for sale.

In the vegie garden Those who did not hear the frost warnings would have been shocked to find tomatoes, beans, and zucchinis suffering from an unusually early frost on March 13. Since then, very hot weather has returned.

By the end of third week in March, only 3.4mm of rain has been recorded, and no useful rain has fallen this year. Broad beans may be sown in April, but make sure the bed is well watered before sowing. Onion seeds and spring onion seedlings can be planted over the next three months.