I don’t know how many Salvias there are, but I am always finding new ones.
I recently went to San Francisco Botanical Garden in search of winter flowers. I knew the grand deciduous magnolias would be starting to bloom and the camellias would be coming in, but I did not expect to see Salvia wagnerian, a native of Central America in full bloom.
In her classic, A Book of Salvias, Betsy Clebsch says the winter flowers of Wagner’s Sage are brought to bloom by the shorter days, and what a treat they are. And what a delicious color, somewhere between fuchsia and magenta.
When I first came across this large shrubby plant I shot a quick photograph straight on, then begin to study its form.
The straight on shot says nothing about the arching form or the flowers blooming continually along the branches. A side view does that.
Consider a plant before taking its portrait. Learn something of its character, something distinctive that you can communicate to your audience. Study the plant and find a story to tell. Every plant has something special which will vary with the time of year, the setting, and in the light.
Today’s Tip: Spend some time with plants before photographing them, make them your friend, get acquainted, and you will make a better photograph.
In my third garden photography e-book, Think Like a Gardener, there is a entire chapter on photographing plants. $9.95 in the Store.
For those of you now lusting for this plant, you must know it needs a relatively warm, wet, and frost free environment. Fine for a winter in San Francisco.