Growers and gardeners all over the country are excited about their salvias at the moment. Autumn/fall is a great time for this genus, with plants in full bloom bringing a riot of colour into the garden .
Below is a video about the Salvia Wish Collection that brings the plants to life, as filmed in Amanda Mackinnon’s own garden, who has a personal connection to these plants as she has worked so closely with the breeders and also with Make-A-Wish Australia® . This is a project that means a lot to everyone who has been involved in it. There are 3 plants in this series – ‘Wendy’s Wish’, ‘Ember’s Wish’ and ‘Love and Wishes’ and we love them because they are so easy to grow, are very forgiving of difficult conditions such as poor soils, inconsistent water levels and extra challenges like steep slopes!
‘Wendy’s Wish’ was the first to hit the market back in 2008 and quickly established itself as a favourite for saliva enthusiasts across many continents. It displays its vibrant magenta flowers for most of the year and these are further highlighted by the maroon stems of the plant. It seems to nearly be in flower all year round and requires little maintenance. At times the stems seem to grow so fast they can get a bit leggy, but a quick trim soon sorts this out. In fact, you can trim this plant back to almost nothing (no experience required) and in no time it has bounced back to a lovely dome shape.
‘Wendy’s Wish’ was named after its discoverer – Wendy Smith – and the name represents Wendy’s desire to see part of the proceeds from the sale of this plant go to Make-A-Wish Australia® What a story Wendy started!
‘Ember’s Wish’ is a sport off ‘Wendys’ Wish’ – the flower is a beautiful bright coral colour – discovered by the team at Plant Growers Australia. Steven Eggleton and Howard Bentley who head up PGA’s breeding team, quickly recognised a new flower colour and were keen to continue to legacy that Wendy initiated with Make-A-Wish. To take the story one step further they offered up the right to name the new variety with all proceeds raised being donated to Make-A-Wish® . Well, this saw an extra few thousand dollars donated directly to Australia’s seriously ill children as well as another plant on the market that was raising ongoing funds for a great charity.
On auction night it emerged that the highest bidders were Paul and Lyn Shegog. This Hobart couple are true inspirational. Paul and Lyn tragically lost their own two children to a rare genetic condition and have been involved with Make-A-Wish® for many years. They were determined the plant should be named in loving memory of their children and delighted that part of the proceeds from the sale of this variety will be donated to Make-A-Wish® for many years to come. Paul and Lyn have experienced first hand the real difference the power of a wish can make and the vital support provided by Make-A-Wish all around the country. The name ‘Ember’s Wish’ reflects the names of the Shegog’s children, Emma and Brett but fittingly also reflects the flower colour itself.
The third instalment in the collection is ‘Love and Wishes’. This hails from another independent plant breeder – John Fisher. John was just as keen to support Make-A-Wish® and we are delighted to now have three stunning plants on the market that represent a long term commitment to Make-A-Wish® Australia. ‘Love and Wishes’ offers a dark purple flower and is already looking to be the favourite amongst many. Its deep tones have captured the imagination, particularly in the USA and EU marketplaces.
Already in excess of $15,000 has been donated back to Make-A-Wish® Australia and we hope this continues long into the future. They are great plants with a great story behind them. It just shows what one idea or kind thought can turn into.
[This post is brought to you by Plants Management Australia]