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: Sep 8, 2016 06:19 PM Synopsis: Drought resistant California native sages thrive when planted in fall. It's easier for roots to become established when soil is warm, air temperatures are cooler and precipitation is increasing. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and emails from customers.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Jul 19, 2016 07:15 PM Synopsis: It's understandable to worry about the condition of plants following shipment in a box. However, Flowers by the Sea Online Plant Nursery is exceedingly careful to make sure your plants arrive in healthy condition. A satisfied customer sent us the photos in this article. Step by step, they illustrate the process of unpacking and hardening off FBTS plants received by 3-day ground delivery more than 1200 miles away from our Northern California farm.
Category:News Posted: Jul 13, 2016 08:44 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 $20 to $25 to stay profitable and keep providing a wide variety of popular and rare Salvias and companion plants.
It is ironic that one of the least social types of birds inspires so much sociability in human beings. We refer to hummingbirds, which are the object of festivals and the communal effort of bird banding research nationwide. This is the third and final article in a series about renowned hummingbird expert Nancy L. Newfield, who grows many Salvias in her hummingbird gardens. We recount a visit to Louisiana to observe Newfield and her team banding hummingbirds in winter. You'll also find a rainbow of top hummingbird Salvias listed here.
Category:Everything Salvias Blog Posted: May 13, 2016 03:00 AM Synopsis: Botanists, horticulturists and gardening enthusiasts who love the Salvia genus are invited to Salvia Summit III – a global conference taking place from Friday, October 7, to Sunday October 9, 2016 in Berkeley, California. Lectures will be held at the Environmental Education Center of Tilden Regional Park, which is on the Berkeley boundary of the 2,079-acre park.
Category:Sage Experts Posted: May 5, 2016 03:00 AM Synopsis: Salvias are among the best hummingbird flowers and red is tops. That's what hummingbird researcher, Nancy L. Newfield began discovering more than 40 years ago. She found that flower nectar was more attractive than nectar feeders. This is the second article in a 3-part series on Newfield and hummingbird gardening. It includes an excerpt from her book Hummingbird Gardens and an FBTS list of red hummingbird favorites. Bud Hensley photographed the hummingbird pictured here enjoying Salvia subrotunda.
Category:Ask Mr. Sage Posted: Apr 19, 2016 07:04 PM Synopsis: A California native sage that looks like it is suffering from drought may actually have root disease caused by a water mold called Phytophthora. Natives are affected by types of this pathogen that strike when soil is moist and temperatures are hot. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and emails from customers.
Category:Sage Experts Posted: Mar 28, 2016 03:23 PM Synopsis: Renowned hummingbird bander Nancy Newfield of southern Louisiana shares her journey from 1970s stay-at-home mom to citizen scientist and one of the nation's leading hummingbird researchers. This is the first article in a three-part series about Newfield's work and gardens, which abound with Salvias to feed hungry hummingbirds that overwinter in her suburban yard near New Orleans. It includes plant lists and the Louisiana Winter Hummingbird Project tally of banded hummingbirds from 1979 to 2015.
Category:Container Gardening Posted: Mar 10, 2016 04:50 PM Synopsis: Container plantings are welcome islands of color and fragrance whether in small or large yards. Their emergence signals the pleasures of summer, including icy glasses of lemonade. Potted plants have a mighty thirst, as well. Container garden plans for Salvias and companion plants need to factor in greater frequency of watering than the plants would receive in-ground.
When I received my order the plant had snapped in half during shipping, I contacted them and told them about it and they promptly sent me a replacement that arrived in awesome condition! The plants were both very healthy and green despite the first one being broken. The quality of the plants was far above any other nursery I have ordered from.
I am a first time customer and had reviewed this site's selection several times before buying. I hesitated because I thought the plants were a little pricy and shipping costs were higher than I was expecting. I found the money was well spent. The plants arrived quickly and were absolutely beautiful and healthy. I have mail ordered plants before and have never been so impressed.I have already re...
— Kristine A Smith
Got my order this afternoon. Everything was great, much better than I expected. Thanks for the extra keikis. Many of your keikis were bigger and more advanced than some 2 1/2-3 inch potted orchids I've received from other mail-order nurseries at 3 times the price.
— Jay Press
I have purchased over 20 Salvias this year to build a hummingbird garden here in South Jersey zone 7. I have purchased many plants online for several years, but this was the first time from FBTS. The prices are great, especially considering the size and the health of the plants I received. I'm very impressed with the whole process, including the website and ordering, the shipment scheduling, pa...
— Joe Szymanski
Plants were large and healthy! I'll be ordering from them again.
— Barbara Williams
The salvias I received are big and beautiful. I just planted them. Salvias have the most gorgeous color range. You lucky guys in zone 8!!
— gini illick
I have always been a salvia fan and when I lived in CA I had hundreds of plants. When I moved to NJ I was in a cold climate and nurseries in the area did not compare with the SF Bay Area. I actually stumbled upon your website one late summer and ordered Zone 6 hardy plants. When they arrived I was pleased to find very large and healthy plants. And we order online from several large nurseries. I...
— Steve Stahl
I received my plants in a very timely fashion and they were in unbelievably good condition. I have never ordered plants online that were better packed. I following the directions supplied and my plants are now in containers and looking great. I live in an apartment and have very limited space on my deck..........but do intend to order a few more plants. Anyone wondering whether to order plants ...
— Gary Tucker
Very satisfying service. Plants arrived as promised, though one was damaged. I notified fbts and received a refund. Plants are doing well, as they were healthy and we followed the complete and understandable instructions for preparation and planting. Many thanks. I have recommended this company to others.
— Carol Sherrill
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...