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:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Oct 27, 2014 09:02 PM Synopsis: By spacing Salvias properly when planting, you avoid problems caused either by overcrowding or leaving too much space around individual plants. Most Salvias are healthier with good air circulation. Crowding leads to the spread of fungal diseases and pests, such as spider mites. Too wide of spacing may cause branches to break in high winds. By paying attention to plant measurements before planting, you can create a good spacing plan. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to FBTS.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Oct 19, 2014 02:55 PM Synopsis: Learn how to prevent root rot and keep dry-garden Salvias healthy by providing optimum growing conditions and avoiding overwatering. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to Flowers by the Sea. This one, which concerns a Salvia species that is drought resistant and native to a dry climate, considers how to identify and prevent rot caused by a complex of soil pathogens that attack when roots.
Category:Views from the Garden Posted: Oct 15, 2014 08:51 AM Synopsis: Beneficial insects help control destructive insects in greenhouses and gardens. Flowers by the Sea uses beneficials to keep plants free of pests and to avoid use of harmful pesticides. FBTS is a horticultural farm in Northern California specializing in hundreds of ornamental Salvia species. In this video, FBTS horticulturist and co-owner Kermit Carter talks about the use of predatory mites called Persimilis and Fallacis to attack plant-eating spider mites and Encarsia wasps to control whiteflies. Carter shows how a tiny box from an insectary contains thousands of helpful insects, including ladybugs, which keep his farm free of pests. The microscopically small predatory mites come packaged with bean leaves that make it easy to distribute them in the garden. Paper strips for overhead hanging contain the wasp eggs. This video is part of the FBTS blog series Views from the Garden.
Category:Sage Experts Posted: Oct 9, 2014 06:00 AM Synopsis: A chance encounter with Pineapple Sage led organic chemist Dr. Richard F. Dufresne to become one of America's leading Salvia researchers. Sage Experts focuses on specialists -- both professionals and amateurs -- who have helped popularize the Salvia genus. Dufresne's life course changed the day he visited Rhode Island's Biodynamic Meadowbrook Herb Farm. The study of chemistry had already helped him to emerge from childhood confusion caused by ADHD. Discovering the heady pineapple fragrance of Salvia elegans at Meadowbrook gave him a cause.
Category:Everything Salvias Blog Posted: Oct 8, 2014 11:04 AM Synopsis: You don’t have to be a florist to create eye-catching designs with dramatic Salvias. By planting the right Salvias and complementary flowers in your garden as well as gaining a little knowledge about color combinations, well-balanced compositions, simple tools and cut-flower preservation, you are on your way.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Oct 5, 2014 08:25 PM Synopsis: Overwatering harms desert plants more than underwatering. When growing them, you need to consider the quantity, duration and timing of watering. Excellent soil drainage is also essential. This article talks about how to identify overwatering and establish an effective watering schedule. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to FBTS.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Oct 3, 2014 08:55 PM Synopsis: It isn't easy being completely green. Flowers by the Sea explains why polystyrene packing peanuts are essential for shipping and what you can do with them after unpacking your orders. Ecofriendly reuses include donating them to shipping companies and using them to lighten container plantings. Ask Mr. Sage is a Q&A feature based on topics raised in calls and emails to FBTS.
Category:Sage Words About Wildlife Posted: Sep 29, 2014 06:00 AM Synopsis: Forgive the bad pun, but we almost wouldn't be without bees. These tiny pollinators make it possible for us to eat and experience the flowering beauty of the world around us. Honeybees -- the kind managed by beekeepers -- and thousands of wild species pollinate at least one-third of the plant species we eat. At Flowers by the Sea we've decided to improve our efforts to help the genus Apis. Our first step is to make it easier for you to find plants honeybees frequent by making our catalog easier to search for bee favorites.
Category:Cultivating Color Posted: Sep 23, 2014 08:49 PM Synopsis: It isn't easy describing green in the garden. Foliage can span greens so pale they are almost white to blue-greens so deep they murmur the forest primeval. Amid this range, you'll find shimmering silver- and gray-leaf species. To locate these types of Salvias and companion plants in the Flowers by the Sea catalog, please visit our new Gray and Silver Leaf Plants category in our catalog menu at the top of every page on our website. This article includes a small sampler of our selection.
Category:Views from the Garden Posted: Sep 20, 2014 09:19 PM Synopsis: Fall pruning of Salvias requires only light trimming of spent blossoms, which is known as deadheading. It increases bloom for Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla), which are particularly abundant with flowers in autumn. In this video from Northern California's Flowers by the Sea farm, FBTS horticulturist and co-owner Kermit Carter, shows how to use sharp hand pruners to quickly remove flower spikes that have gone to seed. Carter explains how flowering plants have less energy to put into blossoming if they are setting seed. Removal of spent blossoms improves a plant's appearance and makes continuous bloom possible. FBTS specializes in the Salvia genus, which contains some 900 species. This video is part of the farm and online nursery's blog series Views from the Garden.
My plants arrived quickly and they were in excellent health. So far, they are doing well in my yard despite the unusually dry weather we've had on the Monterey Peninsula this winter. I will definitely order from fbts again!
— S. Morrow
From Coast to Coast in 3 days!So happily excited I was to receive my order Wed. Oct. 23, Charleston, SC.I placed my order on 10/19 & was notified of tracking # as expected but sometimes don't get. I knew UPS would have it here, SC by Thursday but it arrived early by a day. Yippy. The pkg. packing was more than expected! Way above good shipping standards. Plants arrived in beautiful conditi...
— Marie Lewis
Excellent all the way around, from the variety of plants to the service to the size of the plants that arrive.
— Dean Sliger
I just had to tell you how nice these plants are. Your nursery is a rare find!
Truly one of the most rewarding nursery orders I have placed. When the plants arrived, they looked like they had been lovingly cared for, not just watered. The two plants I ordered are doing well. The Heatwave Glimmer is my favorite. What an exceptionally beautiful plant. And a fast grower. I placed in a container and it filled out in a couple of weeks. The petals are like velvet and the stem a...
Incredible customer service attended to by Kermit himself!Carole - Taylors/Greenville, SC
— Carole Harrison
I must say my order of Scarlet Spires salvia arrived as the most beautiful plants I have ever purchased to receive through the mail. Absolutely awesome quality!
— Paula Shacklock
I love you guys--the S. macrophylla started blooming flowers a few days after it arrived and so are the canariensis and radula that I ordered earlier in the month. They are absolutely gorgeous and I have no doubt they will thrive once planted in the ground. Thank you thank you!I also wrote a yelp review to help get your site out there :-)http://www.yelp.com/biz/flowers-by-the-sea-elk#hrid:-oMrU...
I ordered 2 Salvia plants on 06/10/12 and recieved them on 06/14/12; not only were the plants healthy, but Flowers By The Sea was generous enough to include a slightly different Salvia to me as a gift! Even better is the fact that I was interested in both to begin with. I placed my order here because of the lower cost of the item of interest to me... I'm glad I gave this company my busines...
We ordered 15 plants. All arrived in excellent condition. If our local nurseries offered these plants, which they don't, 14 of the 15 would have already been in 2-gallon or larger containers and priced considerably higher. These are by far the best-grown, healthiest, and largest Salvias we've ever received in a shipment, from anyone.