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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


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.
New at FBTS: Elegant Salvia valentina

New at FBTS: Elegant Salvia valentina


Category: New at FBTS
Posted: Apr 10, 2015 11:22 AM
Synopsis: Flowers by the Sea Online Salvia Nursery has fallen hard for the delicate look but rugged constitution of wildflower sages from Valencia on Spain's Mediterranean coast, especially Strong Spanish Sage (Salvia valentina). S. valentina has upright form and looks elegant dressed up in tall spikes of deep lavender, double-lipped flowers from spring into summer. It's a meadow sage with fuzzy bracts and stems that mature from green to rich Pantone Marsala.
True Blue Salvias You Can Rely On for Garden Serenity

True Blue Salvias You Can Rely On for Garden Serenity


Category: Cultivating Color
Posted: Mar 26, 2015 10:28 PM
Synopsis: Forget all the mournful music telling you that blue is the color of sadness. In a Salvia garden filled with hot colors, true blue is a peacemaker -- a reliable harmonizer that commands peace in the garden. This article talks a tiny bit about football, Madonna and the chemistry of true blue flowers. Then it offers a lot of true blue sages for gardens coast to coast from our Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery catalog.
New at FBTS: Going Loco for Poco Kniphofias

New at FBTS: Going Loco for Poco Kniphofias


Category: New at FBTS
Posted: Mar 24, 2015 11:19 AM
Synopsis: Poco means "little" in Spanish. However, perennial Poco Kniphofias pack plenty of punch in the garden, because they tolerate summer heat, survive winter chill, are long blooming and have foliage that stays attractive despite wind. Flowers by the Sea is one of the first nurseries to grow both these short and tidy yet powerfully hot-colored Kniphofias -- solid-colored red and orange hybrids -- from the dwarf Poco Series developed by Terra Nova Nurseries of Canby, Oregon.
Getting Started: Salvias for the Mid-Atlantic

Getting Started: Salvias for the Mid-Atlantic


Category: Getting Started with Salvias
Posted: Mar 20, 2015 11:04 AM
Synopsis: Outside of its cities, the Mid-Atlantic can be described as an overwhelmingly green place. If you love the Mid-Atlantic, you revel in its verdant landscape. However, if you aren't reveling in the predictable planting choices you see in neighbor's yards, it may be time to expand your horizons by exploring the Salvia genus. Flowers by the Sea discusses the boundaries, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones and Salvia choices for the region.
Sacred Sage: Relaxing, Beautifying and Cooking with Clary Sage

Sacred Sage: Relaxing, Beautifying and Cooking with Clary Sage


Category: Sacred Sages
Posted: Mar 16, 2015 04:30 PM
Synopsis: Today, Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) is best known for its essential oil, which is used mainly in aromatherapy and is extracted from the plant’s aromatic foliage and flowers. Yet Clary, which was a favorite of the ancient Greeks and Romans, also has a long history in beauty care, cooking and healing. This article talks about all but its healing qualities, which will be covered in the second part of this series.
Annual Salvias that Hummingbirds Adore

Annual Salvias that Hummingbirds Adore


Category: Everything Salvias Blog
Posted: Mar 15, 2015 11:58 AM
Synopsis: If a hummingbird could talk, he or she would tell you it's hard work packing for a long journey. Consuming mightily from dawn to dusk, day after day, hummingbirds double their weight before migration. They can't afford to run out of fuel before their next meal. To help hummingbirds, particularly on their northward journey, home gardeners can celebrate the arrival of spring by planting gardens filled with early blooming Salvias and companion plants that are excellent annuals in areas where winters are too chilly for survival as perennials.