November Blooms – Salvicaria or Persicalvia…?

Chloris recently posted about autumnal colours in her garden but before long she will also be celebrating the blooms in her November garden that are bringing her joy. Here at the home of Rambling in the Garden it is especially persicaria and salvia that are still strutting their stuff and I found myself wondering what would happen if the two plant groups were ever cross-bred and if so what we would call the new genus? Salvicaria or Persicalvia? I must add this is not a serious suggestion, but the flowering capacity of both groups is phenomenal so the potential of a combined genus is a mind-boggling albeit highly improbable scenario.

Persicaria ‘Blackfield’ has been featured many times in the last few months, having been flowering from June or so and also having spread from the relatively small division planted here early in the year; similarly P ‘Inverleith’ (below) which arrived as a 9cm pot at a similar time. Admittedly elsewhere in tha garden other varieties have not flowered as much, nor bulked up as quickly. P ‘Red Dragon’, not a P amplexicaulis like many of our favourite varieties but a P microcephala tends not to flower until the end of summer and with ‘insignificant’ albeit pretty white flowers, has suffered in the earlier heat and drought, but this just reined in its tendency to sprawl which I can cope with.

As far as salvias go, S ‘Neon’ is the Blackfield of the salvia world, still going strong and quickly regaining its gangly height after being cut back severely in early spring; next year I will cut it back even more severely. S ‘Phyllis Fancy’ did not start flowering till late August or so but certainly doesn’t look as if it came from a 9cm pot about twelve months ago, nor as if it intends to stop flowering quite yet. Salvias ‘Amistad’, ‘Hotlips’ and ‘Nachtlvinder’ are much less generous in both flowering and bulking up but I am hopeful for next year, after generously mulching plants to protect them through winter.

Salvias and persicaria are not the only blooms in the November garden here, with the odd rose still appearing like this juicy big bud on ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’…

…a big clump of old-fashioned Sedum (Hylotelephium) ‘Autumn Joy’, still full of colour despite relative desiccation…

… fresh blooms on Astrantia ‘Bloody Mary’ and ‘Roma’, the former resolutely ignoring the stony-faced couple next to her…

… and new young plants of hardy chrysanthemums ‘Mary Stoker’ and ‘Jessie Cooper’ grown from cuttings kindly provided by our host Chloris…

I was not, however, expecting to see the next contribution quite yet, the first flower on one of my witch hazels which appeared a couple of weeks ago…I did whisper in her ear and suggest she was a little early but there are the tiniest specks of colours on some of her witchy friends too and I suspect she may be choosing to ignore me. At least all of them are smothered in flower buds which is a relief after such a dry summer, so I can expect a good showing whenever they choose to display their fine wares. I wonder if Chloris has any witch hazels teasing her at the moment too? Do check out her Blooming Garden blog and enjoy all the gems of her Suffolk garden as well as the knowledge she so generously and wittily shares. Thanks for encouraging us to share our top monthly blooms, Chloris.


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18 Responses to November Blooms – Salvicaria or Persicalvia…?

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I hope your witch hazels do as well as mine did this year. We also had a drought and the witch hazel had its best bloom ever.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Lisa – I am really surprised they have so many buds because they do tend to suffer if they get a bit dry, but I am guessing they must have had rain at the critical time for bud formation

  2. Ali says:

    I love Salvia ‘Neon’! If there is ever an opportunity for a cutting…

  3. Cathy your garden is blooming in Autumn. Is not it wonderful? Your Persicaria, Salvia “Neon” that you always say of her that it grows too much and maybe it’s not magnificent! The beauty of the Rose, the beautiful Sedum, the two precious Astrantias and the beautiful Chrysanthemums. Hazels also want to join this mass flowering of your garden. It is very beautiful that in the middle of Autumn your garden is with flowers that brighten the soul and the heart to see them. Is not one of the great reasons to be gardeners? Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, having blooms of some sort throughout the year is a joy Margarita; they may only be little splashes of colour but they are still a delight, and definitely brighten the soul and the heart

  4. tonytomeo says:

    Are the names of hybrids (real hybrid of course) derived from the first half of the female parent and the second half of the male parent? That might be why Washingtonia X filabusta is not Washingtonia X robosa.

  5. Chloris says:

    Thank you for sharing your November blooms Cathy and for your lovely mention. I can see why you love persicarias so much, they are lovely. Have you tried the tall annual Persicaria orientalis or ‘Kiss me over the Garden Gate’? Mine are still going strong. They are easy from seed as long as you keep them mollusc-free. Salvias, of course are totally addictive. I love Nachtvlinder in vases. I am glad your chrysanthemums are a success, I will send you more in the spring. Witch hazel blooming all ready? Mine aren’t showing yet. But lovely to think we have our witch hazels and snowdrops to gloat over when the winter sets in.

    • Cathy says:

      It is only a couple of wisps of blooms on one of the witch hazels and hopefully the rest are not in a rush to get flowering over and done with. I did try to find seeds of P orientalis once but without success, but I think now I would struggle to find somewhere to put such tall plants if I grew them. I haven’t got the original packet for the white leonotis, by the way, but I think they were probably from Chiltern Seeds. They too were easy to grow but mine haven’t flowered yet. I overwintered them in the greenhouse last year and will do so again but so far they have not been worth the effort! I look forward to some more chrysanthemum cuttings in due course – thank you so much. Don’t forget to ask if there is anything I have that you would like (but you already have most things!) – I could always send you a leonotis if they survive another winter…

  6. How lovely your garden still looks. Mine is under snow, and I expect it will stay there until spring. In Maine, winter is here.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Laurie, I like to think there will always be something of interest whatever day of the year it is. Do winters wreak much damage on your garden?

      • Actually, I am one of those weirdos who likes snow. 😉 As for the gardens…as long as there is plenty of snow, the plants do just fine. Acts as insulating blanket. That might be one of the reasons why I like the snow so much. Plus I have husband who cleans the driveway.

  7. ‘Nachtlvinder’ does not bulk up as quickly as some other salvias Cathy and seems quite dainty in comparison to say ‘Armistad’. I was amazed though to find out this year that it self seeds – maybe it was the hot summer but a couple of babies appeared. I think that I detected some witch hazel colour today but will return tomorrow with a magnifying glass 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      That’s interesting to know, thanks Anna. I aim to cut mine back to the lowest bud in the spring, to encourage it to branch out – is that what you would do? Good luck with your magnifier – I have found no more here and am not in a rush for them to flower. I do, however, have a few snowdrop spikes poking through 🙂

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