Sunday, October 10

A Red October

A few weeks ago, I cut some browned flower stalks from my 'Lady in Red' salvia with the intent of sowing seeds from them in the spring.  As I read more about saving seeds from this particular salvia, I was a little bothered by the mentions of the color not coming true from seed... particularly because multiple gardeners commented that their seedlings bloomed in some shade or another of ugh, pink the color I like least in my garden!

I decided to table my decision on the salvia seeds until this spring, but I wondered if the plant would just reseed on its own in my garden.  This week, I noticed that 'Lady in Red' has already given me a few answers to that question!  Here, a properly red seedling mingles nicely with 'African Blue' basil, sweet potato foliage, and brussels sprouts:

This was a great spot for a pop of red--I'm going to have to remember how good these guys look together next spring!  A few more seedlings that haven't yet bloomed chose this less fortunate spot under the peach tree, where my double bloodroot has recently retreated back into the ground:

It looks like at least the one on the right in the grouping above will be a slightly lighter color, unfortunately.  I may just have to sow the salvia seeds I saved in pots, and then let them grow large enough to see the bloom color before I plant them. 

Those seedlings that do not show up red will get composted, because I typically don't light too many lighter colors in my garden... but I have to admit that the light yellow snapdragons that I planted this year were the perfect way to brighten up this spot:

They are mingling with the purple-tinged foliage of eggplant, left, and the bright gold of 'Golden Delicious' pineapple sage.  I grew the golden sage in a much shadier spot than normal this year, because it was touchy for me in full sun in the past, and it has responded by putting out tons of lush, bright leaves.  (No blooms, but that's okay--I don't like the red-yellow combo there anyway.)

Another plant that is typically thought of as full sun, but that does better for me in more shade, is the canna lily:

I'm very stingy with the watering, so it's no wonder the moisture-loving cannas are happier in more shade.  I think that kind of balances things out for them.  Behind, you can see one of the self-sown 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth that self-sow here every year.  I always let the amaranth sow where it wants, and never bother to move the seedlings when they show up... but I'm kind of hoping that these two mingle again in the future. The colors play off of each other very nicely.

As you can also see in the photos above, there's still plenty of sunlight to enjoy this afternoon... so it's time to go back outside and take advantage of it!  Hope that everyone across the country is having a similarly beautiful, sunny fall weekend.  (Everyone except Gail that is--she keeps saying how much they need rain there in middle Tennessee, so I'm hoping that some found her!)


Denise said...

What reseeders do brings so much excitement to a garden, and those are both great ideas -- the salvia with the basil and amaranth with the canna. I'm really working on getting a good population of reseeders going too.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Rain is needed here in Chicagoland too, but it's just blue, cloudless skies, which do look great as a backdrop of red.
I sympathize with your feelings about pink. It just looks wrong in October. Red is the thing and your combinations with it are perfect. I'm starting to like red and purple together for fall. Of course it depends on the right red & the right purple, like your Salvia/basil combo.

Kerri said...

The Coral Nymph Salvia I grew in the spring has sown itself liberally and bloomed the same peachy color so far. I'm hoping I'll have self-sown seedlings next spring.
We've had a mostly gloomy, wet October too, but yes, these past 3 days have been gloriously sunny and mild. Oh, for more days like that, but I fear most of those are behind us.
Love that Amaranth!

growingagardenindavis said...

Do you ever try to bring salvias in for the winter? Many of them die back to the ground here and come back each year...wonder if you could dig it and tuck it in near your many other winter 'house plants'?

Stratoz said...

occasionally I venture into the world of pink in my studio because of a friend. I love to team it with black.

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