Last year we shared the story behind two special salvias, ‘Wendy’s Wish’ and ‘Ember’s Wish’. Both are aligned with Make-A-Wish Australia and part proceeds from each are donated to this inspiring charity to help fund the wishes of Australia’s sick children.
We’d now like to present the third instalment in the Wish Collection.
Following his retirement from the NSW department of Primary Industries, John Fisher decided to devote time to plant breeding. John and his wife Jill have long been keen gardeners and have an extensive country garden in Orange.
‘Wendy’s Wish’ had performed very well in the Fisher’s garden and was identified as the type of plant John thought he could have success with. He quickly began his breeding program with the aim of developing alternative flower colours. John is rightly very proud to present his new colour break with the world. Keen to follow in the footsteps of his fellow plantsmen and women, the new variety is called ‘Love and Wishes’ and will also see part proceeds donated to Make-A-Wish Australia.
The new flower colour of ‘Love and Wishes’ is a deep purple. The richness of this bloom perfectly compliments the other two varieties in the collection. The mature leaves offer a slightly darker foliage colour than the others, providing additional interest in the garden.
‘Love and Wishes’ will hit garden centres this autumn, so keep an eye out next time you visit your local nursery. All three plants in the collection share the same great characteristics – they have a great domed habit, are fast growing (nearly ridiculously so!), dry tolerant and low maintenance AND they flower just about all year round. They make great gifts too, especially for people with new gardens who want to see results fast. If you do give one, make sure you pass on the lovely stories behind them.
You might remember that the very popular ‘Wendy’s Wish’ came from Victorian Salvia enthusiast Wendy Smith. She noticed an unusual seedling in her garden which went on to be named after both Wendy and her desire to support Make-A-Wish on an ongoing basis.
When the team at PGA in Melbourne discovered an orange-flowering sport off ‘Wendy’s Wish’ they were also keen to continue the charity alliance. Taking things one step further, they auctioned the right to name the new variety at a Make-A-Wish ball. Hobart couple Paul and Lyn Shegog won the right to name the plant and did so in honour of their 2 children who tragically passed away from genetic disorders.
It’s inspiring to work with three different plant breeders and discoverers who all share a common vision. It’s hard to think of a better way that plants can make a difference to people all over the country.
Look out for Salvia ‘Love and Wishes’ in garden centres near you.
[This post is brought to you by Plants Management Australia]