25 May 2009

The Dead Zone

I call it the garden's dead zone: the time in the seasonal calendar between spring and summer when there is little in the garden blooming. Last year in an attempt to add some interest to the garden at this time, a new salvia was planted that I saw blooming around a nearby 7-Eleven store. A trip to a local nursery produced a purple salvia (salvia nemorosa) called May Night. This one was awarded the "1997 Perennial Plant Of The Year" by the Perennial Plant Association.

The blossom color is a very intense violet blue. I do not appreciate the smell when the leaves are brushed against. The first surprise was that the plant produced a seedling from last year's seeds, even after growing in dry conditions, and after a winter that killed my crocosmia and oregano. The offspring is now blooming, too. The second surprise is that it grew a healthy amount of blooms this spring, only its second year.

For The Record:
  • Medium soil, somewhat dry conditions
  • Full sun
  • No fertilizer

Garden Calendar:
  • Blooming: Mountain laurel, salvia, geranium, coreopsis, astilbe
  • Cleome, snapdragon, castor seedlings planted


Kenneth Moore said...
Cool! I see these all over my area, Mount Pleasant. They seem to be pretty hardy--my friend ran into the guy who maintains the public garden areas while he was tending our guerrilla-gardened sunflowers, and the guy said the salvia next to our sunflowers were the only thing he planted that survived the people in the area. He wished us luck with our plants. Since then, most of the sunflowers have succumbed to, well, people--trampling, crushing from butts (cigarettes and other), and bottles, cans, and other trash smushing them.

The salvia soldiers on, and keep coming back.
lostlandscape (James) said...
I love the intense color of that salvia. Here on the left coast we have that dead zone phenomenon as well, especially now that the gonzo spring blooms are just about finished. I haven't grown this version of S. nemorosa, but I have another one that's doing nicely right now, along with some other sages.