Autumn Salvias

In the back garden the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) has changed to its autumn colour and today the leaves are falling waiting to be gathered in for composting.

My Hydrangea from the Savill Gardens in the U.K. is keeping dusty pink flower heads, the soft colours in keeping with the autumn tones.

In the front garden I am still enjoying sitting outside and eating lunch on a small portable table as the big one has been stored away as we felt the warm weather could not last – but it has.

Our Salvia leucantha growing in a pot in the patio supplies us with plenty to watch as the bumble bees love it.

The carder bumble bees are Kourosh’s favourite.

The hummingbird hawk moth is a constant visitor and has the right equipment to get to the nectar of these salvias.

This bright blue salvia is in a pot too but will get put into the garden as soon as it has finished flowering.

This salvia has a beautiful flower.

I find it grows too tall. The wall is about two and a half metres. I thought it might grow less when I moved it to the front garden last year as it gets a lot of sun here. It has grown just as tall in its new position and I just think it looks leggy. Any suggestions?

We are still waiting for proper rain to give the garden a good soak after this hot, dry summer.

Nothing is the same this year and now our spring flowering Prunus “Accolade” has started flowering.


20 thoughts on “Autumn Salvias

  1. This is getting to be the time of year to discard bits and pieces of some of the Salvia that break off after bloom. It is difficult because I feel so compelled to process such bits and pieces, without their deteriorated floral spikes, into cuttings. It is a bad habit. Several rooted cuttings of Salvia elegans are ready for canning, but there is no plan for them in the landscapes after that! I really should just discard more scraps. Furthermore, I really should propagate more of the Salvia that we could actually use more of in the landscapes, such as Salvia leucantha and Salvia greggii. Salvia leucantha is very easy to propagate by merely pulling old canes out with callus and perhaps a few shoots at the base. The callus and new shoots grow into new plants as the old canes deteriorate. If the old canes stay viable through winter, I can pull and plug a few directly where I want new plants as winter ends. There is no need to bring them back here for canning.

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    1. It is so difficult to decide how many plants to propagate for the garden. You always need back up in case favourites have problems but we usually end up with excess and it is difficult for us to find good homes for them. Amelia

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  2. Given how “Salivas” have you thought of cutting them back in early August with a hedge trimmer…. it is what I do with our “HotLips” [Salvia microphylla] as it is the only way to keep them within bounds you need something else there as colour, though…. here I use the self-seeded bronze fennel at the back and marigolds in pots at the front [however, the latter failed in the drought this year!]


    1. I have never been brave enough to cut the salvias in August as I would feel the sun and lack of water would stop them flowering. I think you are probably right that a cut in early summer might stop them growing too tall. I did chop the tall ones in May once but it made no difference to their eventual height. Amelia


    1. It is indeed much taller than the wall and that is one year’s growth after I have cut it down and moved the root last autumn from the back garden. I am just stunned by the quantity of vegetative matter that can be produced in one year. I thought it was not getting enough sun in the back and it was going leggy. I just feel I am not using it in the best place. Amelia

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    1. Great minds! As I replied to Cathy, that is what I thought might be the problem when it was in the back garden (although it was not in the shade). The spot I chose is in our full afternoon sun and given the extra hot sunny we have had this year, lack of sun is not a problem. In fact, it has lapped up the hot sun. Amelia


  3. That’s a great photo you took of the hummingbird hawk moth! I love those but rarely see them here. Your salvias are all very pretty. We too are waiting for moisture to fall from the sky. We desperately need a wet winter. We are promised .25 of an inch tomorrow. Fingers crossed for good luck for your area and ours! It’s interesting you mention the fruit tree blooming. Many gardeners here are saying the same thing. We also have seen some blooms on various fruit trees. So strange. -lisa

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    1. It is interesting that the trees should flower out of time. I once heard that trees can flower if they feel endangered. A sort of last fling to reproduce. The trees here have been so short of water and still are not getting the good soaking they need before losing their leaves for the winter dormancy period. Amelia

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    1. I just read in this month’s copy of “BeeCraft” magazine that the Ivy bee, Colletes hederae has only been in the UK since 2001 and is still relatively rare. You take such lovely photographs of them and their nest aggregations but I did not realise that they were so rare. Amelia


      1. Thanks Amelia, I enjoy taking the photos and I find ivy bees fascinating. They dont seem rare here in Devon and almost every clump of ivy will have ivy bees in season. They appeared in our garden this year for the first time. It’s true that they first arrived in the UK in 2001 when they were seen in Worth Matravers, Dorset. Since then they have colonised large parts of the UK and reached Scotland in 2021. One reason for their success seems to be that until recently there was no cleptoparasite for them in the UK but Epeolus are now being seen by their colonies.

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  4. janesmudgeegarden

    Wonderful photos of insects on the wing. I find it so difficult to take a really good photo of them – they usually leave the shot before I can click.
    During our drought some of the native trees, kurrajongs in particular, flowered magnificently and it was said by some people that they did it as a form of self-preservation.
    I think it is colder here today than there. It struggled to get to 12 degrees!

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