Great Comp Manor is a romantic country garden planted around ruins and architectural features. The garden is formal at its heart and then increasingly informal as it radiates from the house. It’s also home to one of the UK’s finest collections of salvias and Dyson’s Nurseries, which specialises in New World species and cultivars – hailing from Mexico and the southern states of the USA. Visit the garden in late summer and autumn, and you’ll find colourful borders filled with salvias, asters and grasses. Here nursery owner William Dyson shares some of his favourite salvias in the garden.
Reputedly hardy, this woody perennial has large, intensely deep purple flowers and black calyces.
Salvia blepharophylla ‘Painted Lady’
Half-hardy herbaceous perennial with black-tinted foliage and large, bright scarlet flowers with velvety hair on the upper lip. Flowers June – November.
Tender woody-based perennial. Purple-black flowers and foliage with mid-green upper surface and white undersides, stems and calyces.
Height 60cm. Hardiness RHS H1.
Salvia involucrata ‘Boutin’
Sub-shrubby perennial hardy to mild winter. Flowers reliably and heavily, June – November.
Height 1.2m. Hardiness RHS H3.
Salvia × jamensis ‘Nachtvlinder’
Drought-tolerant shrubby perennial, hardy in full sun with good drainage in most areas. Dark maroon-purple flowers over a long period.
Salvia patens ‘Guanajuato’
Tuberous perennial, overwinters in mild areas, otherwise mulch or lift tubers. Bears deep blue flowers July – October. Needs support.
Height 1.3m. Hardiness USDA 8b-11.
Salvia ‘Silas Dyson’
Shrubby perennial. Wine purple buds open rich crimson and mature to deep pinkish red. Flowers May – November, drought tolerant, hardy most areas.
Salvia ‘Dyson’s Joy’
Compact bicoloured shrubby perennial, hardy in most areas and drought tolerant. Flowers May – November. 60cm.
Half-hardy upright herbaceous perennial prefers sunny position and well-drained soil. Clear blue flowers August – November, mulch in early winter. 1.8m. AGM. USDA 6a-10a.
*Holds an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.
†Hardiness ratings given where available. These help explain the conditions a plant is best suited to. See our guide
Great Comp Garden, Comp Lane, Platt, Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 8QS.
Tel 01732 885094.
Dyson’s Nurseries mail-order salvias
The garden is open daily from 1 April – 31 October, 11am-5pm, last admission 4pm.
All details correct on publication but please check before you travel.