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Good salvia and penstemon variety suggestions

Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 2,252
Hello everyone I'm currently planning how to fill out my quite barren beds this year.
I've got several plants as young seedlings that I've been raising - Tall rudbeckia, dwarf rudbeckia, Echinacea, coreopsis, heliotrope, dianthus, stock, cosmos (wish I'd got a dwarf variety!)
Ive also got foxgloves and small dahlias yet to sow.

Im snatching up good plants on offer when ever I see them. I'd seen Erysimum down as being a great plant for pollinators so fancied some for the garden - few days later saw them at Morrisons for £1.50 each - Bowles Mauve.

So I'm constantly on the look out wherever I go.

Some other plants that I'd really like to get are hardy perennial Salvia and penstemon to plant with my roses particularly. Especially ones that I could easily propagate through cuttings.

Please could you recommend some good varieties that you've had success with so I can keep an eye out for them.

East Yorkshire


  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,435
    penstemon 'Garnet' is very reliable, strikes very easily and (consequently, I assume) is very easy to find in garden centres. Flowers for ever too
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,930
    I can recommend salvias Caradonna and Blauhugel, lots of flowers and bees love them. Had mine or some years. Penstemon Garnet is one of the hardiest, Evelyn is a hardy pink one.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Janie BJanie B Posts: 865
    I have salvias caradonna (very perennial), and amistad and love and wishes which seem a little less less hardy/reliable. First two beautiful dark blue/purple, third a vibrant pink colour. Took cuttings from amistad and l&w last autumn (mostly successful), so should be able to plant several out later this year. Also took penstemon raven cuttings, were all successful. 
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,688
    I recommend Salvia Microphylla 'Shell Dancer' and Salvia x Jamensis 'Nachtvlinder'. Both hardy and easily mixed with other plants. 
  • chickychicky Posts: 10,322
    edited April 2019
    Another vote for Caradonna here 👍🏻  Sadly all my penstemon give up the ghost really quickly, but if I could keep them going sour grapes and Catherine de la mare would be my favourites
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 9,967
    I have found S.Caradonna disapointing. 
    I replaced mine with Salvia Mainacht which I am thrilled with and flowered from June-Sept.

    2 of my favourite Penstemon
    The blue P.Serrulatus and the red P.'Garnet'

    I can also recommend P. Raven and P. Hidcote Pink.
    Raven was still in flower in Dec.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,690
    Garnet has been renamed
    yes I agree, Garnet was much easier .
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 9,967
    I know - but as you say...
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,690
    not trying to show off,honest, just thought it might make things easier to source if it's under the "new" name.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 9,967
    :) I can remember Garnet a lot easier, so I'll stick with that, but I do put apostrophes around it.
    And I still call sedums sedums too  - I just don't care :)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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