Our endless summer continues, and I wanted to give a shout out to two of my favorite perennials–Salvia (sage) and Achillea (yarrow), which are still going strong in my yard.
I’m a sucker for any salvia. There are many varieties. If you want hummingbirds to swarm your yard in the summer, plant some salvias. It’s healthier for them to get their nutrition from natural plants than from those feeders filled with table sugar in water. Hummingbirds LOVE salvias–I have found their favorites to be Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ and also Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips.’ Both of these Salvia are marginally hardy here in a zone 8b—I have had them die in some winters, and after other winters they return stronger than ever. Both grow so large in the summer, that they certainly could and should be planted in the summer even in colder climates, as annuals. Salvias do better in soil that is well drained, and is slightly on the side of sandy rather than clay. They are fairly drought tolerant also. The dainty red flowers of ‘Hot Lips’ dance in the breeze, and they pair well with so many perennials.
My yarrow ‘Moonshine’ is on it’s third cycle of blooming just this year 2015. I’ve had these for 6 or 7 years now—wonderful plants with a minty green foliage. They make excellent cut flowers, and they dry beautifully. The pop of yellow in a border looks fantastic when paired with purples and reds. Indeed, in the spring, this is a border flush with color. The photos I’m featuring here today were just taken this week–it’s pretty good color considering it’s October, though this border is much more glorious in June. When perennials are properly deadheaded after their first bloom, it will help coax them into a second or even third repeat of blooms through the summer and fall. Please note that the secondary blooms are never as prolific as the first cycle in that calendar year.
Please enjoy the show…