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: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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The plants arrived when expected and were unpacked immediately. They were a bit crumpled, but otherwise healthy. They recovered nicely in a couple of days. Follow the provided instructions. The plants have now been in the ground for several week...
I am 81 years old and have cultivated rhododendrons, camellias, dwarf conifers, etc. for over 50 years. During that time I have come to know many excellent growers and nurserymen. I have never encountered anything comparable to fbts!! That Kermit and Vikki Carter provide an outstanding selection of exceptionally grown plants is only the beginning. They have set a incomparable standard by the gl...
— Gerry Czamanske
Beautiful plants well packed for winter delivery arrived in great shape, thank you!
— Chris Malik
The plants are so beautiful: large, healthy and just ready to grow and bloom. These are among the best salvias I have ever received. The selection of plants is fantastic too. My first order, but it certainly won't be the last!
I live in NY and wanted to try my hand at growing California salvias. Flowers by the Sea had so many of the plants I wanted and more. I am currently growing 10 different varieties and they are doing great. Whenever I had any questions about growing tips and such FBTS always tried their best to guide me in the right direction. As long as I can keep growing these plants in this zone I will al...
— Barnaby Black
I am a Salvia fanatic and have fell in love with this company and their amazing selection of unusual salvia. Keep them coming!!!!Colleen
— colleen james
We were very impressed with the great condition of the Salvias when they arrived after being shipped to Alabama from California. They looked very green and strong. We followed FBTS's planting instructions and the results have been excellent! FBTS's Salvias have grown really well with beautiful flowers that have drawn butterflies and hummingbirds. Even though our area has received much less than...
— Emil Kunze
- Woohooo! Happy 1st day of snrpig! I love the variety of your work! Your portraits are captivating and your floral/natural pictures are so beautifully composed. I will check you out often and I wish you a lovely snrpig.
Great service, outstanding selection. I'd order from them again.
— Roxanne gunser
I purchased an order of 30 salvias, milkweeds and agastache from FBTS. The plants were packaged well and arrived large and healthy, with the exception of two plants whose branches had snapped during shipping. The plants that were not damaged in shipping were surprisingly large, with the largest being about a foot tall and eight inches wide, and had healthy roots and leaves.
— Saumitra Kelkar
I am a delighted returning customer. FBTS provides beautiful, healthy plants with friendly and fast service.