PERUVIAN SAGE (Salvia discolor)

From the Archives – 2011 & 2012

PERUVIAN SAGE (Salvia discolor) is a herbaceous perennial growing in a very localized area in Peru—it is equally rare in horticulture and in its native habitat.

When I came across a few images in my archives this morning, I could smell the fragrance in my memory.

SALVIA DISCOLOR (Andean sage) – 19th April, 2011

There are several plants on a corner of the walking paths at the south end of the Ornamental Lake in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne and the perfume, noticeable from about 15-20 feet away, is intoxicating.  The scent is soft, sweet and so beautiful that I urge any of you home gardeners out there to buy a plant if you have the right growing conditions.   It’s not as strong and overwhelming as, say, Jasmine, Gardenia, some of the Lillies or Jonquils and Hyacinths which give me a migraine.

Its colour is such a dark purple it almost looks black in some of my images.

You won’t be disappointed if you think of adding this to your Salvia collection.   Like many herbs, it can get a little ungainly, so after flowering, it’s worth pruning it back hard to keep the bush in a good shape for the following year.

When I lived 5 minutes walk from the RBG,  I always made it a point of walking down that path and inhaling its heady perfume and made many attempts to photograph it.  One needs to kneel down and get fairly low and crawl around trying to catch its delicate branches waving in the gentle breeze.

SALVIA DISCOLOR (Andean sage) – 28th November, 2012

It usually took a while to find a branch and flowers which you could isolate from the rest of the bush and get a good blur in the background.

SHINING MEADOW RUE (Thalictrum lucidum)

Have been so busy this last week, I almost forgot about my Nature Blog, but today, while looking for some photos for a friend, I came across an image of Shining Meadow Rue (Thalictrum lucidum) made in the Royal Botanic Gardens back on the 18th June, 2012.

……..and just to remind you of what The Herb Garden in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne looks like in Summer or Spring, here’s a few images made over a number of years (below).

The circular brick edged garden falls into shadow around 4.30pm, so best to visit either in the morning or early afternoon.

(Hint: its pretty bare in Winter, so don’t bother visiting at that time).

From memory, the Shining Meadow Rue was growing just inside the entrance of The Herb Garden, one of my all-time favourite places to sit on a hot summer’s day (when I lived on the south-east side of Melbourne).

Melbourne’s long hot summer is finally over and we’ve got some more pleasant weather in which to enjoy the great outdoors this week.  I was going to say it’s hot today, but let’s call it pleasantly……… very warm, instead  🙂