Kingston Maurward Gardens is home to two national flower collections, Penstemon and Salvia.
The Penstemon is one of the most attractive flowers in the garden today. The name is derived from the Greek Pent meaning five and Stemon meaning a stamen, referring to the prominent sterile fifth stamen. The European hybrids that we grow at Kingston Maurward have been bred from the Mexican species, including P. campanulatus, P. barbatus and P. hartwegii. They produce tubular flowers with five lobes arranged with two at the top and three at the bottom. The main reasons for growing them are the length of flowering coupled with the amount of flower, their resistance to drought, pest and diseases and their self-supporting nature. It is often said that they are not completely hardy but given a free draining soil in full sun they can be enjoyed for many years.
Download a copy of the Penstemon Terrace plan 2014– or better still come and see them yourself!
Salvia is one of the largest of all plant genera with over 900 species. They are not just the bright red bedding Salvia of the parks department or the sage that you use for cooking. The colours range from the blues and reds to the pinks, yellows and whites and the leaf and flower textures include the soft velvet to the coarse spikey. Habit varies from the tall woody shrubs to the smallest rock-garden plant. We have three groups of Salvia in and around the grounds at Kingston Maurward. The hardy Salvias are mostly herbaceous perennials and flower in the early summer. The half-hardy species are planted out in the spring for flowering during the summer. The truly tender specimens we pot up and display in the walled garden glasshouse where they will flower throughout the winter. With such a vast array you cannot fail to find a Salvia for your garden.
Download a full list of the Kingston Maurward National Collection