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:Bees in the Garden Posted: Jan 28, 2015 10:11 PM Synopsis: America buzzes with bee diversity, including 4,000 native species and many types of nonnative honeybees. Flowers by the Sea details the variety and value of our imperiled bees. This is the second article in our four-part Bees in the Garden series focused on identifying and understanding bees, becoming aware of threats to their survival and noting ways gardeners can protect these tiny wildlife. It includes tips on how to avoid bee stings.
Category:Sage Experts Posted: Jan 22, 2015 08:59 PM Synopsis: Love of gardening is partly about love of nurturance. Some gardeners nurture far more than their home landscapes; that's the case with retired Silicon Valley executives Richard and Bracey Tiede. Through avid volunteerism in organizations such as the Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County, Western Horticultural Society and Pacific Horticulture Society, they are helping to popularize drought-tolerant Salvias and shape sustainable gardening practices in the West -- a part of the country constantly facing drought.
Category:Bees in the Garden Posted: Jan 15, 2015 10:21 AM Synopsis: It's no secret that Honeybees are American immigrants. Yet along with native bees, they descended from meat-eating wasps. All bees make food and flowers possible through pollination. This is the first article in a four-part Bees in the Garden series in the Everything Salvias blog of Flowers by the Sea. The series focuses on identifying and understanding bees, becoming aware of threats to their survival and noting ways gardeners can protect these tiny wildlife.
Category:News Posted: Jan 14, 2015 06:38 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 $10 to $20 to stay profitable and keep providing a wide variety of popular and rare Salvias and companion plants.
Category:Cultivating Color Posted: Jan 4, 2015 07:27 PM Synopsis: Pantone color corporation's 2015 spring designer colors can inspire garden design, including the company's color of the year -- a red-brown shade of the wine called Marsala. FBTS suggests 15 plants in seven combinations of Salvias and companion species, based on the 2015 Pantone Fashion Color Report, to help you shake up color in your landscape. We include water-loving choices as well as drought-resistant plants.
Category:Cultivating Color Posted: Jan 3, 2015 01:52 PM Synopsis: Whether planned or accidental, hybrids happen. This is especially true among the closely related Southwestern and Mexican species of Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mountain Sage (S. microphylla). They are native to different areas of the Southwest and Mexico, but cross freely when they meet. This story is the first installment in a two-part series initiating our Cultivating Color series. It involves North Carolina Salvia specialist Dr. Richard F. Dufresne, who has helped us track the history of warm-colored S. x jamensis hybrids in the Autumn/Mountain Sage group.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Dec 30, 2014 12:14 PM Synopsis: Some Salvia collectors want to obtain a broad range of sages including all the new introductions on the market. But Flowers by the Sea can't and doesn't want to grow all the new cultivars available, partly because there is a growing abundance of Salvia introductions. Instead, FBTS focuses on selecting the most superior new plants even when introducing its own hybrids in its series of Rainbow Jame Sages. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature based on calls and emails received by FBTS.
Category:Culinary Sages Posted: Dec 25, 2014 01:36 PM Synopsis: Nothing says holidays like the fragrance of sage coming from the kitchen. It has even inspired writers, such as newspaper columnist and mystery novelist Denise Hamilton. Sage is the stuff of musky perfumes, fragrant Christmas candles and great homecooked meals cooking in the kitchen. It wraps us in the warmth as well as the chill of the season.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Dec 10, 2014 06:03 PM Synopsis: Flowers by the Sea is a mail-order nursery eliminating craziness from garden planning with advance orders and customer selection of shipping dates. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature based on calls and emails received by FBTS. This article details how to use our redesigned pre-order process and other catalog tools for making sure you get the plants you want when you want them.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Nov 28, 2014 09:28 PM Synopsis: Even in a small yard, you can have more than one climate. These variations are called microclimates. This article talks about how airflow may create microclimates in the yard, such as chilly areas near fences. It suggests ways to troubleshoot these problem areas and to make the best planting choices for them. Ask Mr. Sage answers questions based on calls and emails that Flowers by the Sea receives from customers.
Really charming plant. It even does okay in full sun, if you keep it in a wet spot. It survived a particularly intense California summer like that, and even bloomed again as Summer cooled down. The foliage is so pleasantly lush in color and tex...
Plants were healthy, packaged very well and shipped on time. Fantastic selection of Salvias that promises to keep growing. Will continue to order from your site.
I recently decided to overhaul a large sun garden in the front of my new home. After removing all of the existing plants and weeds, I realized that I had quite a bit more space to fill than I originally anticipated. Every gardeners dream! More space! So I began looking for perennials I have wanted for a long time and found FBTS had two kniphofia that were unavailable locally. I had my reservati...
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...
I love Flowers by the Sea ! I always get quality products and service from you . The Salvias I’ve purchased are thriving and the milkweed is already starting to spread. I hope to have a full milkweed forest next summer to aid the Monarchs on their journey . I am glad I happened upon you .
— spencer cornish
Our very first order from Flowers By The Sea arrived yesterday. Excellent packaging insured that all plants were in perfect condition. We have rarely ever seen anything done so well. Because the plants look in wonderful shape, expectations are that we will have beautiful blooms this summer. In fact, Salvia microphylla already has buds on it. Thank you, FBTS, for top quality plants and servic...
— Janice Krause
I received my order at the time I was told I would get them. They were good after 7 days in shipping, a little dry but they have be growing just fine. I can't wait to see them bloom.
I received my salvia order today. The plants look great and I can't wait to see them bloom. Loved your selection of rare salvias. Thank you.
— Helena Hartje
I was feeling glum today, and then UPS delivered my new plants from FBTS (doing a nice job of placing the box right side up). I opened it immediately to discover that all the plants were moist, green and healthy. I fell in love with the sweet fragrances of Salvia lyciodes x greggii 'Ultra Violet' and Salvia lyciodes x greggii 'Ultra Violet' as well as the fascinating variety...
I recently received my first order of salvias from Flowers by the Sea. The plants were immaculately packaged. All the salvias had well developed root systems without being potbound. Despite their long journey they have a recovered quickly. I am very reliant on specialist mail order plant nurseries due to my location and this is one of the best I have ever used! I will definitely rely on them ag...
— Cindy Evans
My plants arrived quickly and in very good condition. With watering they were completely revived within a few days and are thriving in the garden.