We began publishing our Everything Salvias blog in 2010 for your enjoyment and to help you "get it right" when growing sages that are often unavailable at local garden centers.
It seems like there is an endless bounty of stories to be told. But that's to be expected when covering a genus containing an estimated 900 species -- the largest group within the mint family (Lamiaceae). In addition to Salvias, we write about other species that are either mint family members or low-water companions for our many drought-tolerant Salvias. We welcome comments as well as suggestions for future blog posts.
To access articles rapidly based on your interests, please click on the categories below, which include do-it-yourself videos (Views from the Garden). If you subscribe to our RSS feed by clicking on the small orange button feed button
, you'll receive announcements when new blog articles appear. But please note: This is a dangerous place for a sage lover.
Category:New at FBTS Posted: Jan 21, 2017 08:45 AM Synopsis: A love of birds can grow into a passion for gardening. The reverse is also true. Sometimes these passions result in the development of excellent plants, such as Salvia x 'Margie Griffith' -- one of our newest introductions at Flowers by the Sea, our family farm and online nursery. Margie Griffith Sage grows up to 96 inches tall and wide in bloom. In some parts of its USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8 to 11 it feeds hummingbirds nearly year round.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Sep 8, 2016 06:19 PM Synopsis: Drought resistant California native sages thrive when planted in fall. It's easier for roots to become established when soil is warm, air temperatures are cooler and precipitation is increasing. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and emails from customers.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Jul 19, 2016 07:15 PM Synopsis: It's understandable to worry about the condition of plants following shipment in a box. However, Flowers by the Sea Online Plant Nursery is exceedingly careful to make sure your plants arrive in healthy condition. A satisfied customer sent us the photos in this article. Step by step, they illustrate the process of unpacking and hardening off FBTS plants received by 3-day ground delivery more than 1200 miles away from our Northern California farm.
Category:News Posted: Jul 13, 2016 08:44 PM Synopsis: Sometimes small changes help online plant nurseries to stay upbeat and, as the Bee Gees sang, to "keep staying alive." Flowers by the Sea, a specialty online Salvia nursery, has made a small increase in its minimum order fee from $20 to $25 to stay profitable and keep providing a wide variety of popular and rare Salvias and companion plants.
It is ironic that one of the least social types of birds inspires so much sociability in human beings. We refer to hummingbirds, which are the object of festivals and the communal effort of bird banding research nationwide. This is the third and final article in a series about renowned hummingbird expert Nancy L. Newfield, who grows many Salvias in her hummingbird gardens. We recount a visit to Louisiana to observe Newfield and her team banding hummingbirds in winter. You'll also find a rainbow of top hummingbird Salvias listed here.
Category:Everything Salvias Blog Posted: May 13, 2016 03:00 AM Synopsis: Botanists, horticulturists and gardening enthusiasts who love the Salvia genus are invited to Salvia Summit III – a global conference taking place from Friday, October 7, to Sunday October 9, 2016 in Berkeley, California. Lectures will be held at the Environmental Education Center of Tilden Regional Park, which is on the Berkeley boundary of the 2,079-acre park.
Category:Sage Experts Posted: May 5, 2016 03:00 AM Synopsis: Salvias are among the best hummingbird flowers and red is tops. That's what hummingbird researcher, Nancy L. Newfield began discovering more than 40 years ago. She found that flower nectar was more attractive than nectar feeders. This is the second article in a 3-part series on Newfield and hummingbird gardening. It includes an excerpt from her book Hummingbird Gardens and an FBTS list of red hummingbird favorites. Bud Hensley photographed the hummingbird pictured here enjoying Salvia subrotunda.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Apr 19, 2016 07:04 PM Synopsis: A California native sage that looks like it is suffering from drought may actually have root disease caused by a water mold called Phytophthora. Natives are affected by types of this pathogen that strike when soil is moist and temperatures are hot. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and emails from customers.
Category:Sage Experts Posted: Mar 28, 2016 03:23 PM Synopsis: Renowned hummingbird bander Nancy Newfield of southern Louisiana shares her journey from 1970s stay-at-home mom to citizen scientist and one of the nation's leading hummingbird researchers. This is the first article in a three-part series about Newfield's work and gardens, which abound with Salvias to feed hungry hummingbirds that overwinter in her suburban yard near New Orleans. It includes plant lists and the Louisiana Winter Hummingbird Project tally of banded hummingbirds from 1979 to 2015.
Bought 4; put 2 in large pots on stands & 2 on floor next 2 stands. Hummingbirds were all over these like a kid eating "candy corn". We live n Texas- don't let them dry out. Indeed a hummingbird magnet.
All of the plants arrived in excellent condition and are thriving beautifully in my South Carolina garden
— Hutchinson D. Cummin
I was very happy when my plants arrived to see that they were large and very well packed. I live in MIchigan so they had to come quite a distance. They arrived in perfect shape. They are doing well now that they are planted. I know that Michigan is fairly far north for these salvias but I hope they will make it.
Great service, outstanding selection. I'd order from them again.
— Roxanne gunser
Great folks, great company, great plants
— David Hayford
gorgeous large plants packed extremely well for cross country shipping they are very healthy and perky, ready to plant buds appeared the following week. now they are already blooming. they are so full they look as if they've been in the garden since spring!
Your plants are truly Awesome!! Large, robust, and fairly leaping forth! The salvias are growing almost visibly, began blooming immediately. You have become my favorite gardening resource, actually, with so many interesting topics on your website. You grow the very sorts of plants that interest me most these days, and you do it very well!
— Samantha B.
Very satisfying service. Plants arrived as promised, though one was damaged. I notified fbts and received a refund. Plants are doing well, as they were healthy and we followed the complete and understandable instructions for preparation and planting. Many thanks. I have recommended this company to others.
— Carol Sherrill
Never have gotten a delivery so quickly of mail-order plants and what's more, the plants were superior in quality to anything I've seen before. We have great nurseries in Berkeley and nearby but I must say, these were spectacular!
The four plants I ordered from you were a very nice size and two of them are already blooming away in my hummingbird garden, much to the delight of the juvenile anna's who owns that particular turf. My entire experience with the order was excellent: the plants I wanted were available, they were sent forthwith, and arrived in excellent condition. Thank you for that!
— hm lien
I am a delighted returning customer. FBTS provides beautiful, healthy plants with friendly and fast service.