Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stunning Salvias at Hershey Gardens

The annual beds of Hershey Gardens were
in their glory at the beginning of October.
We had a beautiful, blustery day to
wind our way through the still colorful gardens.
The blooming grasses added their dynamic dimension, 
but they'll have to wait for another post.
For now I'll focus on annuals, and
give Salvias first billing
as the major stars of the show for me.

Salvia 'Mystic Spires Blue' was in gorgeous bloom. 
Hardy to zone 7, it's grown as an annual here in zone 6.

Hot pink Wendy's Wish Sage (Salvia 'Wendy's Wish' - hardy to zone 9)
brings up the rear with dramatic color.
A new variety, I read that part of its
proceeds go to the
Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The casual tangle of
pink Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa)
provides a nice contrast to the vibrant spikes. 


Deep Purple Sage
(middle left - Salvia splendens 'Vista Purple' - tender perennial zones 11a-12b) 
and Wax Begonias
weave waves of color into this
pink and blue tapestry.

The Hershey Chocolate Factory is visible to the right in the background. 
The historic property, where the chocolate company began, has recently been sold, its operations to be relocated to a modern plant. 
The iconic symbol in the heart of town will be missed. 

Black and Blue Salvia (Salvia gauranitica 'Black and Blue' - hardy to zone 8),
is another striking member of the family.
Its electric blue color is set off by black stems and calyces 


I was taken by the dramatic
Cock's Comb Flamingo (Celosia spicata),
a new annual to me. 

A bit gangly in form,it looks suited to the
rear of a bed with fronting plants providing a "skirt".


Mexican Bush Sage
(left foreground - Salvia leucantha 'Cislano' - hardy to zone 8),
is a luscious rich pink-purple color
with a kind of free wheeling habit.

It's easy to see why it's also called Velvet Sage.

I've always loved annual Salvia and am determined to
branch out and try some of these varieties.

Enjoy these glorious the days of early fall,
full of color and life.


One said...

Love every single photos of yours today. They are real stunners.

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

Gorgeous photos. Salvias are the mainstay workhorses of my zone 7/8 garden!! Those ornamental grasses caught my eye, too. I wonder what variety they are. Those pink plumes are gorgeous!! I use many ornamental grasses (those look like miscanthus), but have not seen a miscanthus with that particular color plume.

debsgarden said...

Gorgeous garden! I see why you love all these salvias. I have several varieties, and they are lovely, reliable flowers, but I have a hard time photographing them. Your shots are superb, and I like the combinations you feature.

HolleyGarden said...

Oh, they're lovely! I have one or two of these, but most were new to me. I'll have to be on the lookout for them. Beautiful gardens.

Indie said...

Beautiful garden photos! Salvias are so pretty and real workhorses in the garden. Those big globes of ornamental grass made quite an impression as well!

greggo said...

Salvia guaranitica-black and blue-has returned the last three springs in my zone 6a garden. I must say it's hard to wait on it however. This spring I was able to divide it into 4 different plants. It is also a great hummingbird magnet and hummingbird moth magnet. Don't forget s.fairnancea, mealy blue sage which also returns every year in my garden.
I had my mother bring s.leucantha home this spring and it is blooming here also, sadly it won't return. I also planted mystic spires and it has done well. Nice photos and post.

Lona said...

How gorgeous the gardens are with the Salvia's in them. I also love the Celosia spicata.

Janey said...

Hi Chris,

I hope you're having an awesome week! I thought you might like this infographic I helped build about the health, mental, and financial benefits of gardening (

If you think your readers would like it too, please feel free to use it on the Garden Senses blog. There's code at the bottom of our post that makes it super easy to post on your blog. It's all free (of course). If you have any questions about posting it, let me know and I'll try to help.

I don't know where else to contact you so I just put a comment here. Please feel free to delete this message after reading. :)


~ Janey

Chris said...

One: I'm glad you enjoyed them!
Toni: I'll share more photos of grasses next time!
Deb: I do wish more of these were hardy to my zone 6 - but Greggo has had some luck with them, so maybe....
Holly: Glad I've given some food for thought.
Indie: And what variety of form and color they offer!
Greggo: Glad to hear that you've been able to stretch the zones with Black and Blue Salvia...I love that clear color.
Lona: Yes, Celosia spicata is also looking great at this time of year.
Janey: Thanks for sharing the link. Your graphic gives us all the more reason to love gardening.

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

The photos in this post make me want to try every salvia. It is particularly helpful that you give zone information. Mexican bush sage is an old favorite, but I could certainly use some of these other colors in my garden. Hershey Gardens seem well worth visiting.

Chris said...

Carolyn: I wasn't familiar with Mexican Bush Sage, but am now a fan! Hershey Gardens is very nice. Their butterfly house is a favorite during the summer and they have a fun children's garden.

catharine Howard said...

Take me to the Hershey Garden right now!

NHGarden said...

Wow! Stunning!

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