Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Senior Horticultural Interpreter.
Much of the floral color in the garden at this time of year is provided by our large collection of ornamental sages. Related to the culinary sage (Salvia officinalis), they vary in size and leaf shape (and foliage scent) and have blooms that range from white, through yellow, pink, red, purple and many shades of blue.
This particular selection of the anise-scented sage (Salvia guaranitica ‘Blue Ensign’) can be seen in the Wild Garden and is true to its cultivar name; the flowers are a lovely blue.
Native to parts of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, the lands of the Guarani people (hence the specific epithet of guaranitica), the anise-scented sage is a tender perennial and seldom survives the winters here.
Our gardeners collect cuttings of all the tender salvias before the first frosts and grow them as new plants in the greenhouse. These are planted out in the spring to provide another colorful display by the following autumn. In the last shot, taken in the Wild Garden, you can just catch sight of the roof of the Conservatory in the background.