If you were to ask me what my most productive cut flower was in 2023 you would think it might be Sweet peas, Cosmos or even Phlox, but no by far and away the most prolific flower on my cut flower patch was Salvia ‘Oxford Blue’. My unsung hero last year. And the good news is that we now have it for sale at Higgledy garden! I sowed them in mid March, they were pricked out in mid April into modules and then planted out in mid May. I planted in a couple of spots in the garden, including a row of 5 plants in my old chicken run. I would say they were flowering by mid June and they were still going in late November, gradually fading to a beautiful bleached denim colour. I’m wondering if they may self-seed but anyway I will definitely be sowing them again this year.
It is the dark purple bracts that are the real feature though I feel and as such they are great to add some spikeyness to your bouquets. Its classed as a filler flower really for bouquets. The bracts remain looking good even when the little flowers have faded and they don’t really go brown they just fade in colour so that you can get an range of purples across the patch. They are a true cut and come again flower and I think they get taller stems the more you pick. I’ve also found that growing them reasonable close together makes them grow taller. They are also super long lasting in a vase, over 10 days at least and they are also really good for drying, another flower on my list to try properly next year.
Salvia ‘Oxford Blue’ looks great with contrasting colours such as oranges and yellows. Here it looks fabulous with the vibrant oranges and pinks of Helichrysum.
Another vibrant posy containing Salvia alongside Rudbeckia ‘Marmalade’, Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, Zinnia ‘Purple Prince’ and Zinnia ‘Mammoth’, Larkspur ‘Imperials’, Nicotiana ‘Bronze Queen’, Tithonia ‘Torch’ and foliage of Physocarpus.
But it also looks good with more subtle colours of white, pale lemon yellows and purples. Here with Cynoglossum ‘Firmament’, Achillea ‘The Pearl’, Nicotiana ‘Starlight Dancer’, Larkspur ‘Imperials’, Cephalaria gigantea and white Origanum.
Salvia viridis is a seed mix and you can get flowers in shades of blue, purple, pink and white so I’m going to try and get some nice pink ones next year.