uk summer 2013

robinmi_gwSeptember 2, 2013

What a strange year! Very cold spring which delayed new growth of the dormant Salvias (though they all survived), followed by a very hot 3 weeks in July with unbroken sunshine. This caused the buds on many cloud-forest species to abort, with the result only now, September, do I have a colourful garden, actually looking great, despite only 15 mm of rain in the last 2 months!

Constant watering has been very time-consuming, and therefore I am infested with Oxalis, a nightmare to get rid of.

Spidermite thrived in the heatwave, and has all but destroyed S. concolor and S. dombeyi. (In last year's wet summer, these Salvias were superb.) Seem to be having another infestation of Capsid bug, which really messes up foliage on some species.

But current highlights are S. curviflora, S. fulgens (Popocatepetl), S. darcyi, and all greggii/microphyllas.

S. 'Amistad' has been variable, some plants are truly amazing, others seem to need a strong feed. Spidermite also attacked a couple.

But, must not complain, so lovely to have so much warm sunshine this year, after 3 dreadful summers. Supposed to be 28C (82F) this week.

Have an interesting new hybrid, allegedly S. greggii 'Alba' x S. dorisiana.......nothing like the parents, but very very nice! Hope to add photos to my site within a month.

Regards to all........Robin, in the UK.

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Enjoy the fruits of your labors, Robin!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 7:05PM
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rich_dufresne(z7 NC)

Robin, were the seeds of the greggii x dorisiana sent to you by John Fisher of Australia? I got some from him as well, and will soon be starting them, along with the libanensis and others.

I'll be sharing them as soon as I can propagate them.

We have had a funny summer, not too hot, and we caught up with our mild drought about a month ago, but Salvias aren't doing as well as I'd hoped. Maybe they will finish well this autumn.

Despite using better soil, I've had trouble keeping high Andean species , especially sagittata. Other troublesom species include fulgens, concolor, and dombeyi. The Bio-Comp potting soil has helped.

I really need to put in small beds for some of these, since pots aren't good for them. I rent both the residence and nursery site. I suspect these are the species that need a deep and/or loose root run.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 3:28PM
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Yes the seeds were from John Fisher. He also sent greggii x involucrata, this has come up much like 'Mulberry Jam', but a paler pink, and greggii x darcyi is like 'Silkes Dream' but a darkish red, quite nice.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 5:06PM
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Robin: Your garden has been amazing this year!!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:06PM
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Rolando, If only you had been here NOW, instead of July!!!

Many Salvias bursting into bloom, albeit 4-6 weeks late! If we have an early may never hear from me again!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 1:57PM
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