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Everything Salvias Blog

Everything Salvias Blog

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.

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Everything Salvias Blog Entries


New at FBTS: Two New Himalayan Salvias from Chris Chadwell

New at FBTS: Two New Himalayan Salvias from Chris Chadwell


Category: New at FBTS
Posted: May 21, 2015 05:48 PM
Synopsis: Yellow Salvias are rare, and so are professional plant explorers. Add to this list another rarity -- the availability online of high altitude, Himalayan plants grown from seed collected in the wild. Flowers by the Sea, our Northern California horticultural farm and online plant nursery, obtained seed for two new Salvias from British botanist and plant explorer Chris Chadwell. We're not certain that both plants are yellow-flowered Campanula Leaf Sage (Salvia campanulata), but FBTS is beginning sales now as we test these vigorous plants. Chadwell is an independent plantsman who supports his treks and research by selling shares in the results of his expeditions. FBTS is a subscriber. Himalayan Gloxinia (Incarvillea arguta) is another of our plants from Chadwell seed.
Getting Started: Salvias for Zone 8

Getting Started: Salvias for Zone 8


Category: Getting Started with Salvias
Posted: May 14, 2015 10:03 PM
Synopsis: Rainfall often is heavy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 8. It swings in a deep, broad arc from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast and back up the East Coast to the northeast edge of Virginia. What all its diverse areas have in common climatically is an average low winter temperature of 10 degrees F. Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery discusses growing conditions and how to select Salvias for your part of Zone 8 whether wet or dry.
Getting Started: Salvias for the Coastal Southeast

Getting Started: Salvias for the Coastal Southeast


Category: Getting Started with Salvias
Posted: May 2, 2015 03:44 PM
Synopsis: True sages are members of the Salvia genus and number in the hundreds. They are native to a wide variety of environments worldwide, which is why some are ideal for the dry gardens of California and others can handle the abundant moisture of the American Southeast. Flowers by the Sea raises many sages that grow well in the Southeast, including some that are either native to the region or have jumped fences from gardens into the wild.
Getting Started: Salvias for New England

Getting Started: Salvias for New England


Category: Getting Started with Salvias
Posted: Apr 30, 2015 02:21 PM
Synopsis: Some people think you only find sage and coyotes out West. But Canis latrans, the Eastern Coyote, slipped into New England in the 1930s, and who knows when all the sages arrived? The New England Wild Flower Society notes that Lyreleaf Sage (Salvia lyrata) is the region's only native sage. It's one among many Salvia species grown in the Botanic Garden of Smith College in Massachusetts, which has one of the largest collections of sage in the region. Flowers by the Sea Online Plant Nursery raises hundreds of sages, including many northeastern favorites.
Container Gardening: 32 Salvias and Companions for Hanging Baskets

Container Gardening: 32 Salvias and Companions for Hanging Baskets


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Apr 28, 2015 10:16 AM
Synopsis: As summer nears, it's time to prepare hanging baskets for patios, front entries and other locations that lend themselves to an aerial display of lush greenery and colorful blossoms. This year, don't just settle for what is familiar; make room for cascading Salvias and waterwise companion plants. Flowers by the Sea has selected 32 favorite plants that arch, tumble, form globes of bloom and otherwise perform beautifully aloft.
Cultivating Color: New FBTS Tools Aid Garden Design

Cultivating Color: New FBTS Tools Aid Garden Design


Category: Cultivating Color
Posted: Apr 25, 2015 04:16 PM
Synopsis: Have we got tools for you! No, we aren't selling Ginzu clippers, rust-free shovels, a miraculous compost-in-minutes machine or anything requiring payments. We're talking about a set of color tools for accurately visualizing and comparing the floral and foliage colors of Salvias. As you wander through the riot of hues in our online catalog at Flowers by the Sea, these tools aid plant selection and landscape planning. Beginning in fall 2014, we began identifying the colors of all FBTS plants based on the internationally standardized color system published by the U.K.'s Royal Horticultural Society. This improves descriptions of plant colors and makes color comparisons of plants easier for garden design.
A Community of Anise Scented Sages We Adore

A Community of Anise Scented Sages We Adore


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Apr 15, 2015 01:58 PM
Synopsis: It would be understandable to expect the foliage of a plant called Anise-Scented or Anise-Leaf Sage (Salvia guaranitica) to smell robustly like licorice, which shares the same fragrance as anise (Pimpinella anisum). Yet while some gardeners detect a hint of licorice after crushing a leaf of a Salvia guaranitica, many say the foliage merely smells sweet. However, two things are certain about all forms of Anise-Scented Sage. These blue-spectrum Salvias are pretty to the human eye and strongly appealing to hummingbirds. They're part of an important South American plant community. This article talks about their history and varieties sold by Flowers by the Sea Online Salvia Nursery, including new selections from Argentinian plant explorer Professor Rolando Uria.
Sacred Sage: Healing and Educating with Clary Sage

Sacred Sage: Healing and Educating with Clary Sage


Category: Sacred Sages
Posted: Apr 14, 2015 02:58 PM
Synopsis: For American colonists, the home medicine cabinet was the kitchen garden just beyond the entry to their homes. Many of the plants in these 'dooryard gardens' were herbs used for multiple purposes, including serving as medicines. The New England Unit of the Herb Society of America notes that perennial Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) was common in these gardens. Clary Sage can also be found in the colonial garden of Johnson Elementary in Natick, Massachusetts. The garden is located in the Johnson Outdoor Classroom, which is part of a nationwide movement -- No Child Left Inside -- to mandate outdoor education. June is national 'Leave No Child Inside Month' -- a time for learning through relaxing outdoor activities. But the entire growing season is a ripe opportunity for field trips to the garden.
Salvia Companions: Kentish Hero Pouch Flowers

Salvia Companions: Kentish Hero Pouch Flowers


Category: New at FBTS
Posted: Apr 14, 2015 09:39 AM
Synopsis: An ancient Welsh chieftain was the inspiration for the common name of Kentish Hero Pouch Flower (Calceolaria integrifolia 'Kentish Hero'). Bright orange as a pumpkin, its plump, prolific blossoms bloom from spring into summer lighting up perennial gardens. This is a water-loving member of the snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae) that grows well in sun and partial shade.
A Gardeners Guide to Hummingbird Sage

A Gardeners Guide to Hummingbird Sage


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Apr 11, 2015 10:55 AM
Synopsis: Among the hummers' favorites: Salvia spathacea, commonly known as Hummingbird Sage. As it name suggests, this California native produces the hummingbirds' flower of choice, blooming from late winter through summer -- and sometimes again in Fall -- with rose-pink to magenta blossoms. Available in six varieties, this robust perennial not only attracts hummers with its abundant nectar, it's easy to grow and enhances any landscape with its aromatic blooms and fragrant evergreen foliage.