-

-
Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Salvia clevelandii 'Alpine Form' My Favorite Plant In the Garden This Week

 
A few weeks ago, September 7 to be exact, I was with my pal Loree standing near a table of plants at Far Reaches Farm when she said, "I smell something." Now, I'd taken a shower and used deodorant that day so after discretely checking the bottoms of my shoes, I  said, "Whatever do you mean?"   Fortunately, it was a pleasant fragrance, that of Salvia clevelandii 'Alpine Form,' that had tickled my shopping companion's nose.  Soon I smelled it as well and was delighted.    Although new to me,  this is a plant with which Loree is well aquainted see her posts about it here and see some beautiful images of the plant in bloom and additional information about it at Plant Lust.
 

Now I'll admit that this little guy who came back with us that day won't win any beauty contests right now but let me assure you that being with this plant in my car on the drive home was an olfactory treat of the highest order!

Having the pot in various parts of my garden before it found a home in the ground was a similar treat.  This is a special fragrance that wafts freely even if the foliage isn't touched.  I've planted it by the steps from the sidewalk to my front door because that's one of the sunniest and warmest spots in my garden and it also is on a  slope with lean soil so the requirements of the plant should be well met.  Now I'm  hoping that it lives through this winter so that in years to come it can grow out over the walk and be brushed and enjoyed even more by visitors and passersby!  (Well, at least I get to enjoy it every day as I leave or come home.) 

A perennial that grows 3'x3' and has blue flowers in May and June that are attractive to hummingbirds, Salvia clevelandii 'Alpine' is hardy to zone 8a which is the hardiness zone of my garden except when we have a rare very cold winter and we drift a little more toward zone 7b.  Fingers crossed that I'll be posting blue salvia flowers next May on Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!

By the way, is it cheating to post as my favorite plant something brand new to me about which I know nothing?   

For other bloggers' favorite plants this week click on over to Danger Garden to check it out!                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                                                      

26 comments:

  1. Love the plant description, I'm going to have to find this one. Salvias work well in my garden and I always enjoy pleasantly scented plants. Salvia clevelandii 'Alpine Form' is going on the list of plants I need.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fortunate that Loree was with me as I might have overlooked this wonderfully-scented plant! I enjoy it every day as I pass it!

      Delete
  2. I think Rosie might like this one, she likes a good Salvia scent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, Rosie definitely deserves one of these. She's such a cutie!

      Delete
  3. It's such a unique scent too, I don't think any other leaf or flower smells quite like it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it survives your winter. Maybe if it does, I'll get one next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My fingers are crossed too as I really love the fragrance. I'm also leaving some agaves and opuntias out this year because you had fairly good luck with them.

      Delete
  4. It´s not cheating! something can be a favorite even if we know nothing about it, I think! We´ll see what Loree says! Ohhhh noooooo, now you´ve made me want to smell that plant so bad... and they don´t sell it here!!! Hahaha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry that you can't find this plant in Madrid! I bet you have wonderful fragrances of lavender and rosemary all around you though.

      Delete
  5. Not cheating at all! Totally fair game. I'm so glad you grabbed one too, and are enjoying its scent. That night (after our plant adventure) I stuck all my plants in our car in the hotel's garage, windows up. My salvia had filled the car with it's scent by morning, Andrew wasn't particularly thrilled. It's a little overwhelming in an enclosed space...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OOPS! I imagine that if it is so delightfully strong outside that it would be a little too strong in a small car! Oh well, a little rolling down of the windows probably helped the scent to dissipate, right?

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Far Reaches Farm. I don't know it they list it on their mail order site but you really need to make a field trip up there someday! Cistus might have it at times if not, I'd be happy to pick one up at Far reaches and bring it down next time I visit Portland.

      Delete
  7. It's love at first sight! No, at first sniff!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an incredible fragrance! Even if it's not totally hardy for me, I'll probably get another early next year and keep it in a pot just to enjoy that smell!

      Delete
  8. The fragrance certainly sounds alluring. I hope it makes it through the winter for you. I looked at the flowers on the Las Pilitas site and they look pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the flowers do look lovely and I understand that, like all salvias, this one attracts humming birds. Who could ask for anything more in a plant?

      Delete
  9. I wish I'd have looked for a smaller version of Salvia clevelandii like 'Alpine' or 'Winnifred Gilman.' I planted 'Allen Chickering,' which looks as though it might consume small children before swallowing my entire house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my, I've never heard of a house-eating salvia. I suppose anything's possible in your sunny climate!

      Delete
  10. They really do smell amazing...there's nothing quite like them :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sigh...yes indeed. Have you kept yours through the winter o.k?

      Delete
  11. I was getting all excited about this salvia until I got to the zone 8 part. Oh well:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry about that. Could be a nice annual for you though.

      Delete
  12. Such regret I feel regarding S. clevelandii..it is native here and grows well, low water low care. It is the only plant I have ever encountered whose fragrance makes me respiratorily uncomfortable. I've never had allergies, asthma or any other of those types of afflictions, but S. c. had to be removed here shortly after planting , even though I love the fragrance and the plant. I have many many other Salvia cultivars that don't bother me at all. I'm hoping I'll outgrow it !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry to hear that this fragrance makes you respiratorily uncomfortable, especially since you love the fragrance.

      Delete
  13. Sniff sniff...when will the tech wizards come up with an olifactory app?

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.