I am looking for a source for this salvia. If anyone can help it would be much appreciated.
Ball seed sells cuttings to growers like Monrovia, and they duistribute the plants to garden centers. I live in North Carolina, and they have never been distributed here.
Some sad news, though. I am the patent holder on some of the series, and have been informed that the whole series will be discontinued as of this summer. Sales of these and other perennials have been falling off because smaller garden centers with broad inventories have been closing from big box competition (at least on the west coast), who work with suppliers of low maintenance, guaranteed delivery, high volume plants.
I do not know the whole story yet, but if it is true and continues, there will be a shakeup in the perennial business. Add factors like a possible recession, high gasoline prices, and a possible continued drought, and there will definitely be changes. Because of the last condition, a number of North Carolina nurseries have folded up already.
That is a shame. It has been available here in New Jersey for quite a few years. The first place I ever saw Bright Red was at Lowes and last year there was quite a good supply at a farm market near me. Raspberry Royale has also been a regular fixture at a number of better garden centers. This is bad news. Around here until about 2000 salvia sales were mostly confined to the dwarf splendens, some of the Eurasian types, and Pineapple Sage.
I was very sorry to see that Singing Springs closed down last year, her mail order plants were of the highest quality. We haven't seen nursery closures here in Southern New Jersey yet - it probably just hasn't hit this area yet. From looking at stock it seems nurseries are relying on fewer and fewer growers each year and those growers seem to be further and further away. It brings some interesting plants to their shelves, but many of them are very odd choices for this region. I've wondered how the sale of tons of ill adapted plants to the hot and humid east would effect future sales when these plants fail in the garden year after year. Who's in charge here? It is a rhetorical question, because I have a good idea who it is.
The smaller nurseries have fallen like flies in the Placerville, CA. area. Home Depot has come to the country and driven them out. How sad...no more personal touch!