Last week I wrote about the purchase of my first few salvias for my new venture: Yoke’s Magic Salvias. These first few salvias were particularly important for me as they were some cuttings of my Rodbaston-named varieties, which I had been worried about that they might have gone extinct forever..
Here on the left: Salvia ‘Moonlight Over Ashwood’ has unusual yellow-green variegated foliage making the plant attractive even when not in flower!
So the tip is and was: always to share your plants to friends and family in case you may lose the plant!
On Friday the 8th of February we set off on the Black Country Route towards the well known Ashwood Nurseries to pick up a lot of salvia-plants for my growing collection!
Over hundred varieties of salvias are grown by grower Jonathan Williams, who is an ex student of Rodbaston College and has been working for Ashwoods now for many years. There are several ex students from Rodbaston at the nurseries and most staff does not want to leave as it is a very happy place, lead by the owner John Massey (VMH), although nowadays he leaves the nursery all in the capable hands of his staff.
They have many of the older varieties, which I used to grow at the College.
I got to know those very well for their growth habit and general performance. There have been added many modern, superb varieties since I stopped working for the College back in 2009 and I will also add those no doubt to my new collection as well as many annual, hardy and semi-hardy herbaceous varieties.
With that last idea I came a little while ago when going through the hundreds of pictures my partner used to make when we had the National Collection and also seeing the lovely websites out there on Salvias, in particular the one from Robin Middleton, Rolando Uria . Also the website from Ashwood (see earlier link) and fellow nurserymen William Dyson in Kent.
All of a sudden I thought: ‘why limit myself just to the shrubby salvias?’
There are so many lovely ones, many hardy and also the annual varieties are very good doers for a long, cheery flower season!
But we got about 40 varieties on the day just before John Massey’s Garden Open day and they were all ready for us waiting on a Danish trolley. We are extremely indebted to John and Grower Jonathan for all their help.
Then my friend Robin was so good to send me many lovely varieties of seed from his big collection in Surrey. I always like growing anything from seed as it is very exciting to wait for them to germinate and then transplant them into plugs to grow on.
As you can see my bench is getting quite full already; not just with salvias at present but also with some other temporary bedding plants while there is still room!