Friday, 6 June 2014

Silver forgives everything

Pots and plants accumulate by the back door – after the autumn garden shows, nursery visits, mail order deliveries and the occasional special gift. They get potted on, and watched over and watered until the garden beds are deemed moist enough for planting, and that day has arrived; all my gorgeous silver and raspberry bed plants will go in, even though the criteria expanded and deep plum and `Queen of the Night’ tulips are now part of the plan too. (Crimsons and pinks, however, have been ruthlessly jettisoned.)
But amongst my pots a red Salvia has thrust up a single raceme of hectic colour, very out-of-place (what was I thinking? – it’s not even Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans)-with its evocative foliage scent – and unlabelled, so probably a cutting and who knows how tall it will grow), but – here’s the thing. By chance, it’s right up against the most silver and stunning of the wormwoods, Artemisia `Lambrook Silver’ and the combination looks great. I don’t want a whole garden of it, I don’t know if I’ll keep it even, but on these damp grey days it’s quite cheery. Maybe I can plant the duo (multiplied) and viciously prune the red Salvia so that it only flowers in winter. There’s a thought.

Jill Weatherhead  is horticulturist, garden designer and principal at Jill Weatherhead  Garden Design who lives in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, and works throughout Victoria (Now, no longer

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