Monday, 5 May 2014

`Anthony Parker’ Sage – wise, tall, dark and handsome – is that enough?

Deep darkest indigo blue flowers have opened – at last! – on an old favourite, Salvia `Anthony Parker’. I have been watching this big fat space filler and tapping my toe imperiously, I’m afraid. Salvias are for summer and autumn, surely, not for waltzing in at a metaphorical midnight – late autumn – after hiding the low roses and even the Mexican orange blossom for months. Was it the short summer? A teensy bit of shade? And now they have the effrontery to be dark against a dark wooden wall, barely seen.
So when the flowers are over, I shall either chop them back so hard they’ll be grateful they are not Salvia officinalis (culinary sage) or relocate – which will expose ugly legs of yellow rose bushes. It’s tempting to just up the ante with taller yellow roses (enter `Graham Thomas’ stage left) particularly as the salvias do keep the odd persistent wallaby (don’t laugh) off the roses somewhat.
And those nectar-rich blooms attract honey eaters, a joy, not far from the window. Let’s see how long the flowering season keeps up.

Jill Weatherhead  is horticulturist, garden designer and principal at Jill Weatherhead  Garden Design who lives in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, (

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