Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Playing Favorites

Fer of My Little Garden in Japan is hosting a blog carnival this month on Blotanical

She has invited garden bloggers to share a little bit about their favorite plant.

My first thought was, oh, that's easy!  
It's Salvia greggii (a/k/a Autumn Sage).  

But the more I thought about it, 
I started to feel sorry for my other perennials.  

 What about 'Henry Duelberg' Salvia with those deep blue blooms that the Monarchs just love?


 Or what about my favorite ornamental grass, Miscanthus sinensis 'Adagio'?  

So much bang for the buck!

 And what about all of those 
Japanese maples in beautiful autumn color? 

Or what about -- hey, this list could go on forever!!   

H'm...maybe this is not as easy as I thought it would be.

Though all of my perennials have some redeeming quality
(or I suppose they wouldn't be in my garden at all), 
I must pick one for this post.

So going with my first instinct, the winner is...
Salvia greggii .... 
my favorite perennial -- AMONG MANY!

(I sure hope 'Henry' and 'Adagio' don't hold it against me!)

And what's not to love about it!?  

Salvia greggii ...
  • Is a native Texas perennial -- and a very drought-tolerant one!  
  • It blooms from March until November.  
  • There are no disease or pest issues with it.  
  • Hummingbirds love them.   
  • They come in lots of colors (red, purple, varying shades of pink, white, coral).  Hot pink just happens to be my favorite color for this salvia.

Salvia greggii and ornamental grasses make great companions.

Salvia greggii with Lindheimer's Muhly grass and Mexican Feathergrass
Salvia greggii with Black Fountain Grass 'Moudry'
Salvia greggii with another fave, 'Adagio'

 And Salvia greggii also pairs nicely with other 
perennials in my garden

Salvia greggii with Mexican Bush Sage, Fall Aster, Russian Sage

Salvia greggii starts blooming early, shown here with Bee Balm, 
Summer Phlox, and our friend  
'Henry Duelberg' Salvia

I also love the gray/green foliage of 'Helen von Stein' Lamb's Ear 
 next to Salvia greggii

Salvia greggii fits the bill in the low-maintenance department, too!   
In mid-February, I cut it down to about 12 inches tall in order to keep it growing strong, full, and compact.   (Without this annual pruning, it can become woody and rangey looking)

  It grows to about 2 1/2 feet tall and 3 feet wide.  

If the blooms slow during the season, I just give it a couple-inch "haircut" 
to encourage another flush of blooms.

All it asks from you is plenty of sun and well-drained soil :-)

If it has one tiny drawback, it is that it is not hardy north of Zone 7, so my apologies to my blogging friends in the north.   But we can't grow those sweet smelling lilacs here in the south, so I guess that makes us even :-)

 If low-maintenance and long-blooming are characteristics you are searching for in a perennial, then I think Salvia greggii might just become one of your favorites, too!

Until next time...

Toni :-)


  1. I love the photo of the Salvia and the Monarch. So many beautiful plants it is hard to select a favorite. The Salvia that you picked goes so well with the plants you have shown, especially the grasses.

  2. It seems you had the same problem as me in choosing a favourite! I do like salvias though I only have purple varieties.

  3. Oooh... yeah if you have to pick a favorite plant, salvia is certainly a solid choice!

  4. LOL. I can tell you're feeling guilty for picking a favorite! Autumn sage is a beautiful choice. It does look so pretty with everything. That was a staple in my old garden, along with the phlox and bee balm and coneflowers. What a pretty sight they are together! Unfortunately, I've had no luck with any of those plants in this current garden. I think it is my heat zone. (?) Maybe I should try again....

  5. Hello!
    Your garden looks amazing! it's so full of life.
    Blue salvia are also one of my favorites, I had some this year, but they got dry sadly. They are definitely on my list for next year.
    I also love the maples, mine just finished its color display of the year.

    Thank you for joining the carnival! and sorry for the late reply. I hope to see you around again.