Salvia semiatrata – Top courtyard / Purple Border
Common name Pine Mountain Sage native to Chiapas, Mexico. This salvia has deep purple flowers surrounded by showy pink bracts. The stem and under side of the leaves are a pale green with a fury layer and the top side of the leaves have a bumpy texture. Will grow well in full sun and rich well drained soil, can grow up to 4 feet tall. This looks good planted with plants like Salvia leucantha, Salvia horminum and Siderites oroteneriffae.
Verbena bonariensis – Top courtyard
Native to South America. This tall erect verbena can grow to 6 feet tall, it has very rigid rough square stem/branches which support the large clusters of small pale purple flowers. The leaves are ovate – lanceolate and also the nodes on the stem have large internode spaces. Will grow well in full sun and rich well drained soil. This verbena also attracts butterflies.
Salvia horminum– Top courtyard / Purple Border
Common name annual Clary native to the Mediterranean. This clump forming annual produces multiple flower spikes with tiny flowers enclosed in showy purple bracts which have dark veins. Can grow up to 3 feet tall and spread up to 1 ½ feet. Grows well in full sun and well drained soil and once it is established it will self sow and also attract butterflys. At Sissinghurst we also have this in the Herb Garden as the leaves can be dried, made into a powder and used as snuff.
Calamintha nepeta ssp. Nepeta – Herb Garden
Common name Calamint, native to Mediterranean. This bushy, rhizomatous, perennial of the mint family typically forms a dense spreading, foliage mat with upright leafy flowering stems. Ovate, gray-green leaves are very fragrant when crushed. Tiny, tubular, lilac to white flowers appear in axillary spikes. This is a more vigorous performer with slightly larger flowers inflorescences (up to 20 flowers) and larger leaves compared to Calamintha nepeta . Leaves may be dried for potpourris. From Greek, Calamintha means beautiful (kalos) mint (minthe).
Liriope spicata – Delos
Native to East Asia. This grass-like perennial forms a clump of narrow, arching, glossy, dark green leaves with erect flower spikes from which pale purple/white flowers arise, somewhat hidden, among the leaves in late summer. Flowers often give way to blackish berries in winter. Can grow up to 1 1 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Grows well in partial shade and moist well drained soil.
Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ – Cottage Garden
Common name Black grass, native to Japan. The flowers are white to pale lilac with strap leaves that turn from green to black. The berry’s produced in winter are a shiny black . This plant is commonly used in rock gardens or raised beds as an ornamental plant as due to its dwarf qualities it can be lost in borders. The seed can sometimes revert back to green which should be removed where you wish to form a black mass. Under planting with bulbs can also give dramatic impact against the black foliage. Grow in full sun and well drained soil. At Sissinghurst we use it as ground cover under a rose and clematis screen.