Smelly Salvias and Pelargoniums (by Yoke van der Meer)
Many of the Salvias and Pelargoniums on display here at the Community Centre were once growing at Rodbaston College, now South Staffordshire College - Rodbaston Campus.
The Salvias were part of a prestigious National Collection of ‘New World Salvia spp.’ grown and administered by me as a former Head Gardener during my time at Rodbaston from 1998-2009.
We used to grow well over 300 varieties in all different sizes and colours. Most here on display are tender, many originating from Central America.
The Pelargoniums (or better known as Geraniums) were also grown as part of a much larger collection of different groups of geraniums such as the zonal, regal, angel and species geraniums.
The ones at the centre are mainly from the scented-leaf group of geraniums except for the large red-flowering zonal pelargonium which was outside all summer. See picture above. This geranium is actually a very early zonal type as the usual zonals are now all bred to be dwarf plants to be used for baskets and in bedding-displays, etc.
I particularly love those plants not only for their vibrant flower-colours but their often surprisingly delicious smells. Please go ahead and discover the many fragrances by gently stroking the leaves and discover the mixes of fruity, minty and spicy scents.