Breeding New Plants at Lambley
Whilst we have always raised new and improved garden plants here at Lambley in the past most of our new releases were imported from Europe and the United States. We had our own quarantine facility and worked closely with the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service.
With mounting concern that the bacterial disease Xylella fastidiosa devastating vineyards and olive groves in France, Italy and Corsica might inadvertently be introduced into Australia, AQIS has understandably introduced very strict import conditions on the importing of nursery stock. So strict are these conditions that it is just about impossible for Lambley to import any new plants.
This makes our plant breeding program even more important.
Several years ago we crossed Salvia ‘Greek Skies’ with S. ‘Chateau Chatare’ and a good pink flowered seedling S. fruticosa. ‘Chateau Chatare’ is a near prostrate, dense ground covering variety which makes it a useful garden plant. However it produces very few flower spikes and has scruffy foliage during winter.
Out of the crosses we planted out some 100 or so plants in our trial grounds. Of these hundred there are six or so which warrant further trials and one which is so beautiful that we will be releasing it next year. It's a long and fraught process but when an outstanding example is discovered it is well worth while.