Tag Archives: salvia black&blue

September’s Hummingbirds

A day in the garden.

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Salvia Black&Blue

The third year of gardening revealed me the truth: I am gardening for hummingbirds. Whatever flowers I like, it “happens” to be a hummingbird flower. I have very few flowers just for my pleasure,  and I keep adding more and more hummingbird flowers. The thing is that I’ve learned about flowers I would never thought they can be so beautiful. Who cares about “salvia”? I only knew about the culinary salvia or the medicinal salvia. I was wondering what is so remarcable about this flower? Oh, well… I wish I can fill my whole garden with all the flowering salvias. The hummingbirds taught me about flowers, they showed me more beatiful species and it is a delight just watching both, the flowers and the birds.

About Savia Black&Blue I have learned  from my daily reading of the Hummingbird forum ( http://www.network54.com).  It took me  two seasons  to find this  Slavia.  I  found it at Belgium Nursery in Kitchener.  And it worth it: a realy stunning flower! Leaves, stems and flowers make a very attractive plant.

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This is Salvia guaranitica Black&Blue, also known as Blue Anise Sage. Isn’t she beautiful? The name comes from the deep blue flowers and the dark purple (almost black) calyces.

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In our Ontario zone is an annual plant and must be dug up in fall. It is a perennial semi-woody subshrub for USDA zones 8- 11. It grows up to 3 ft (0.9m) tall and almost as much wide, branches of dark green stems. The leaves are long on oposites sides of the stems, slightly toothed. If crushed, the leaves have a pleasant fragrance.

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Blue anise is a bloomer, it will give you the best show throughout the summer. They like sun, and moderate water, being a drought resistant plant. And the hummingbirds… they love it! I  have lots of flowers in my garden but this one was the most visited and the most wanted flower. This is  Alba ( white) a hummingbirds with a white spot on its crown. I’ve had such a great time watching her ( I believe it’s a her) for a few weeks.

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This  is a young male, you can see the one red spot on his gorget.  I planted one Salvia in a planter and the other three in a flower bed. My little friend took over this  planter and here he is getting some nectar from one flower.

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The flowers are tubular, with a hood like upper lips and a shorter downward pointing lower lip. Look at the size of this flower: it is bigger than the hummingbird’s head… or maybe is he too small?

DSCN3391Here are a few  more captures during the 2012 summer:

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In fall I dug up the plants after the foliage died. I found the roots look more as a tuber and I put them in a flower pot covered with soil, and I placed them in the garage.

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When I checked them sometime in December, I  was surprised to see that new sprouts showed up and I brought the plant inside, in the basement. Not too cold, not too warm ( 20 C) and I watered once in a while. Well, they had new leaves,  stems and new shoots. Even more, last month one stem got a few small blooms.  The one I left in the garage, and bring it in only late in March, it does not  look alive  anymore. Just dried stems. So, I’ve learned that they really need a medium temperature to stay alive over the winter, and must be watered just a bit, from time to time.

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The winter is playing tricks with us and the spring is hiding somewhere… can’t wait to go out and get ready for a new gardening season. And most of all the hummingbirds arrival.  I also have new plans for the next Salvia Black&Blue flower bed, and for more Salvias.

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In motion

My little bird visiting Zinnia flowers. This year Zinnia was one of the favourites.  One of the hummingbirds was guarding these flowers. ( click on the picture)

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Another loved flower: Salvia Black&Blue. It was a long search until I finally got this flower. Worthly efforts: amzing beautifully with great flowers and color. Of course: a hummingbird flower. Look how tiny is the bird’s head: almost smaller than the flower.

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Agastache is another very busy flower. Hummingbirds were hovering over the flowers.

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