Readers with good memories may recall I was suffering from an acute case of Salviamania in the early spring of 2016. I posted My sage advice to you is… in May and then 2016 Salvia update… as a follow-up later that year. I was truly obsessed with collecting every introduction in a few salvia series such as Monterey Bay Nursery’s Turbulent Sixties and Western Dancers introduced by Suncrest Nurseries. Since that time I have added additional cultivars from those series and others but until early this year had not been able to successfully introduce the long sought after Salvia microphylla hybrid ‘Dancing Dolls’ to my garden. Many of these named varieties are almost never in my local garden centers–both these series are filled with older introductions and I recognize the store’s buyers must attempt to provide a good mix of the hot new things plus the old standards. That dream of someone calling to check what’s on my list for this season before the orders are placed is not likely to ever become reality. Do they not know that I am the Queen of the Dirt? I find the greatest selection when shopping on the coast and in Southern California and even then being able to check another one off my list is pretty exciting. Two previous purchases of ‘Dancing Dolls’ in 4″ pots got lost in the shuffle somewhere along the way–I see them in my photographic record of what I have purchased but have no idea whatever happened to either of them!
Finally found another a couple of months ago and got it planted in the newer lawn free plantings along my front walk and I have been rewarded with its plentiful and perfectly colored lavender and pale pink blooms. ‘Dancing Dolls’ shares it 2004 parentage with ‘Shell Dancer’ which grows in my back garden but the colors are less creamy and much more clear and sharp. I love the way she plays so well with other lavender and dark purple blossoms.
I am feeling as if I need to start scratching that little salvia itch again!
3 thoughts on “Dancing Dolls…”
I would think that there would be more variety with salvias up here. I do not see as much variety down south, although I do not work there much either. Because Monterey Bay Nursery and Suncrest are local here, there stock is sold in local retain nurseries.
I don’t know why but the Central Valley has not been as quick to embrace many of the interesting less thirsty plants as the Bay Area and Southern Ca has. I do not see as many wholesale conversions to lawn free landscapes which incorporate the Mediterranean climate friendly plantings–obviously that’s a generalization just based on my observation. I think the misconception that you can’t have great color without lots of thirsty annuals still looms large here. We have two nice examples of what can be done at the Clovis Botanical Garden and the Garden of the Sun which is the Master Gardener’s project. Another stumbling block for us is the relatively small number of independent garden centers–we have lost several in the last few years–for such a large metropolitan area. I love Monterey Bay Nursery’s great variety of interesting selections and also look for NativeSons stock everywhere I go! Just got 3 little Salvia radula from Flowers by the Sea mail-order and am anxious to see what they will do in my garden. I always appreciate your insights!
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When I was working in the Central Valley, it seemed to me that many people lived like first time homeowners, and landscaped with whatever the big box stores happened to have in stock, hence a lot of annuals. However, I also noticed much of the opposite extreme, that there were those who had lived in the homes for a while, or in their family’s old home, so already knew about limiting their landscape. There were plants that wanted regular watering, but there not too many of them.