Years ago when we were selling plants wholesale in our nursery, I amassed over 100 species of Salvias (or sages). I was smitten with these plants. There are over 900 species and they grow on every continent. They are tough, often have fragrant foliage, gorgeous flowers and are easy to grow. I loved propagating and growing them.
Last week I decided to add some to my natural dye repetoire. I chose Salvia 'Martin's Mauve' which fills a dappled shade corner in the front yard. Martin Grantham crossed Salvia involucrata with S. puchella and it's a winner! Large magenta flowers and lush green fragrant foliage.
The flowers produced a grey/blue and bright green with an alkaline modifier. The leaves gave a soft yellow that brightened when modified with washing soda. The leaves modified with iron gave dark geen. A knitted a sample is shown below the photo.
I'm struck how my love for these plants has deepened as I collaborate with them in a whole new way. They have given me joy for over 20 years and continue to in this new way . . . I am grateful for their generosity.