Salvia Salmia for its superb show in the garden. This shrubby upright perennial salvia produces endless spikes of large dark purple, pink or orange-red blooms that attract bees and stand out against the dark green leaves. Plants flower from spring to autumn – even through winter in warmer areas. Growing 60 to 80cm high and wide, it’s a good filler for beds or as a feature in a large container. Plants are frost hardy, performing best in full sun in fertile well-drained soil. Like all salvia it needs moderate watering and the soil can dry out between watering. For strong growth, cut back in spring, fertilize and water well. Details: ballstraathof.co.za
Here are some garden tasks to keep you busy this summer
- Sow quick-growing annuals like alyssum, dwarf marigolds, nasturtiums, portulaca, and California poppy.
- Lift and divide irises, water agapanthus if the weather is hot and dry and fertilize roses, cannas, dahlias and hydrangeas.
- For heat-resistant bedding colour plant vinca, Angelonia and bedding salvia in sunny areas and begonias in semi-shade.
- Water outdoor container plants and hanging baskets once a day and feed twice a month. If the sun is becoming too harsh, move containers into a position where they receive afternoon shade.
- November is peak time for pests. Watch out for lily borer (black and yellow stripes) on your clivia and amaryllis and spray with Margaret Roberts Biological Caterpillar Insecticide. Protect roses, tomatoes, and sweet peppers with Ludwig’s Insect Spray, which is organic.
- Succession sowing of most summer vegetables can be continued up until the end of this month.
Flavoursome potted edibles for your patio
Imagine having deliciously fragrant, pickable sweet basil at your fingertips. Basil Dolce Fresca is a patio basil that grows perfectly in a pot, keeps its compact bushy shape and doesn’t get leggy, the way garden varieties tend to do. Plants grow 30-36cm high, with an excellent leaf yield. This basil has won horticultural awards including the All-American Selections vegetable category for its sweet, tender leaves and ornamental shape. Use the leaves for pesto, with pasta and in any Mediterranean-inspired dish. A great patio edible.