Salvia involucrata 'Hadspen' is a new plant at VP Gardens. Karen gave it to me last year after we'd admired it on a trip to Bodnant when I went to stay with her. I rather like this early morning shot as you can see the autumnal orb spiders are starting to capture it for their webby schemes.
I've planted it in the top terrace bed, where it nods to my Salvia 'Amistad' across the way. Both are tall specimens (S. 'Amistad' is as tall as me this year) so they need plenty of space. S. 'Hadspen' has decided to splay out a little and its flowers make me giggle. They're such a girly pink - not like me at all - and they make me think of a row of bright lipsticks lined up along the stem.
Here's a closer shot of some of the flowers along one of the plant's bracts- see what I mean? And what about those ticklesome little 'brushes'? I need to find out more about the unusual staminal lever mechanism adaptation* salvias have for their pollination.
This salvia hails from Mexico and the leaves are very aromatic Thank goodness they're in the more acceptable blackcurrant-like bracket than the unpleasant cat-pee one some salvias have. Its also a tender perennial - hence my placing it in the well-drained and protective walled part of my garden. This is another plant which will be given a Dahlia Duvet after autumn's first frost.
I'm delighted with this plant in its first year here. It's a reminder of good friends and happy times as well as being attractive in its own right.
* = Wikipedia's general introduction to Salvias, plus this scientific paper are a good start if you'd like to join me on this quest. There's an impressive lineup of papers to peruse after googling too.
Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.