Hinton Ampner Garden

Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Blue Spire'

Russian Sage

Location:

The Terrace Border.

Description:

A hardy sub-shrub from Afghanistan and the Himalayas which each year puts out 1m (3 to 4ft) tall erect grey- white stems clothed in ovate, deeply cut and lobed grey-reen leaves smelling strongly of sage when bruised. The late summer flowers resemble spikes of blue lavender. This variety has larger flower-heads and is an impressive plant, even in winter when bold groups of the silvery stems make an attractive feature.

Site and Care:

It prefers a well-drained, light, dry, chalky, alkaline, poor soil in a sunny position. Over-feeding, watering and mulching results in too much lush sappy growth and should be avoided. It should be hard-pruned to a little woody framework, no more than a few inches tall, just as it is beginning to leaf up in mid-April - too early will kill it. If in doubt, wait until May. Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings taken in July.