There are so many reasons why gardeners choose salvias for the garden. New gardeners generally have a preference for plants that flower the longest. Some salvias flower an incredible amount of time.
”Elite” gardeners appreciate all the unique things about salvias. They have gardened so long they know not to take it for granted that a plant flowers for months and months with very little or no input after the initial good preparation.
Colour. Most people appreciate the remarkable range of vibrant colours of salvias. The blues and purples are especially popular as there are not as many blue flowers in other flowering plants. The sight of a red salvia flower with the sun behind it can make me feel happy to be alive.
Variety The variation in foliage has to be seen to be believed. The variation in size and growth is also unbelievable.
Internal use! Salvias are edible healing plants. Besides the herb sage, salvia officinalis, possibly about half of salvias are used medicinally.
Nostalgia. People like to grow plants they remember from their childhood. Many people remember sucking on salvia grahamii flowers for the nectar and like to show their children and grandchildren.
Perfume Salvias have a great variety of perfumes. Salvias mostly have scented leaves, some more so than others. Flowers also vary in the amount of perfume and kind of perfume. Some perfumes are dearly loved but other people can think the same smell horrible. S. melissodora has scented evergreen leaves and then the flowers have a different scent again. It is about my favourite scented salvia especially as it releases the perfume in summer without having to be touched. Generally perfumes don’t release much in winter.
Some appreciate salvias for their hardiness. The most widely distributed salvias are the hardiest. There are some salvias with preferences in a narrower range which are more for careful gardeners. In this modern fast world most people don’t have the time to worry about whether a plant is happy. If it is not, a replacement can quickly be found in Bunnings!!
Inspirational flowers. People who are sick, mentally or physically, have time to drool over a beautiful flower and it can lighten their mood. Plants can be somewhat ignored with their green foliage but suddenly when they begin to flower there is much excitement and really lifts your day.
Expensive flowers are always a feature of presentations by presidents or special world events. I don’t know what the original purpose of these decorations is. Maybe it comes from a similar idea like tussie mussies with herbal plants that will purify the putrid air.
New releases. Some people are captivated by marketing that proclaims the plant as new. Some feel doubtful of the new claim but still can’t resist buying it, just in case it is new and they might miss out on something!
Bird attracting. Some gardeners love them because salvias attract birds and provide them with something to eat over the winter period when most plants are waiting to produce flowers in spring . I don’t know where the birds and bees are in summer but they descend on the garden in large numbers once it is cooler in autumn. The little birds are such a delight in autumn when there are so many that the garden looks to be on a trampoline.