Published: 14:23, 06 July 2018
| Updated: 14:25, 06 July 2018
A Kent gardener has picked up a silver medal at one of the country's most prestigious flower shows.
William Dyson, who runs a nursery at Great Comp Garden, has two new Australian salvias - So Cool Pale Blue and So Cool Purple - on display at the RHS Hampton Court that comes to an end on Sunday, July 8.
Both plants are the result of a controlled breeding programme. Known for its scenic beauty, Great Comp Garden, near Borough Green, is a Georgian farmhouse and garden that regularly hosts festivals and outdoor theatre productions.
He said: “We have been extremely impressed by their hardiness and sheer flower-power.
“The So Cool Pale Blue variety is by far the best and has the most gorgeous pale mauve-blue flowers in spectacular abundance.
“It has a compact, bushy habit and is well suited to the front of a sunny border or for container culture.”
Native to a wide area of central Mexico, Salvia patens were first introduced into horticulture in 1838 while the blue salvias have traditionally been popular for their rarity.
Colour analysts claim that there has never been a true blue flower as there is no blue pigment in the plant kingdom. Colours that appear to be blue are actually permutations of purple or violet.
He added: “If you are looking for a blue salvia then salvia patens with its large cobalt-blue flowers is hard to beat.
“They are easy to grow from seed, with the exception of ‘Dot’s Delight’ which must be propagated by cuttings.
“The plant overwinters easily in our free draining, sandy soil at Great Comp. In colder areas it's good to mulch or lift the tubers like Dahlias in late autumn.”
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