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:Getting Started with Salvias Posted: Feb 23, 2017 07:53 AM Synopsis: High altitude, distance from large bodies of water and powerful chinook winds make the Rocky Mountain West a dry gardening environment even in years of higher than average rain and snow. The region's steep mountains have a major impact on where and how precipitation falls. Instead of a single mountain chain, the Rocky Mountains are made up of 100 separate ranges. Similarly, the Salvia genus contains a broad range of sages, many of which thrive in the climactic extremes of the Mountain West.
Category:Everything Salvias Blog Posted: Jan 27, 2017 04:07 PM Synopsis:You might expect the foliage of a plant called Anise-Scented Sage (Salvia guaranitica) to smell robustly like licorice, which shares the same fragrance as anise. Some gardeners detect a hint of licorice after crushing a leaf, but many say the foliage merely smells sweet. These popular sages are native to Brazil where indigenous peoples used their leaves as a medicine. Flowers by the Sea grows many varieties in a wide range of sizes and flower colors
Category:New at FBTS Posted: Jan 21, 2017 08:45 AM Synopsis: A love of birds can grow into a passion for gardening. The reverse is also true. Sometimes these passions result in the development of excellent plants, such as Salvia x 'Margie Griffith' -- one of our newest introductions at Flowers by the Sea, our family farm and online nursery. Margie Griffith Sage grows up to 96 inches tall and wide in bloom. In some parts of its USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8 to 11 it feeds hummingbirds nearly year round.
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.
Hummers Love this plant! Always working ea. flower. Buy several as will keep hummers in your yard longer. Need some shade n our Denton, Texas hot heat. Blue flowers & light green leaves are beautiful! Does well in large containers.
I cannot rate this company highly enough! Wonderful web site, endless interesting varieties, excellent service, and strong, healthy plants which arrive ready to grow practically right out of the box. I wholeheartedly recommend Flowers by the Sea to all my gardening friends, and only wish I'd discovered it sooner myself.
— Mary Jo Ballator
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!
Clearly I am addicted to Flowers by the Sea! I think I've just about ordered at least one of everything! The plants are all super healthy, and arrive in great shape owing to the (patented?) packing method. The hummingbirds, bees and butterflies are in 7th heaven. I HIGHLY recommend FBTS for all the plants they offer, not just the salvias. I got some terrestrial orchids that are doing...
— Laurel Burik
read the reviews before ordering, received my plants in excellent condition ,very happy I found this website.
— alberto flores
Beautifully grown plants of unusual hard to get varieties. I've potted them on to keep them growing through the heat of the Austin summer; looking forward to placing them in the garden this fall.
— Scott Ogden
Finally getting to tell you how pleased I am with the Salvias I ordered. They were better than I expected.Packed beautifully to make the cross country trip. I have planted them in my garden and am patiently waiting for them to bloom. One has started Salvia macrophylla Tall Form. The color is beautiful. My only fear is living in the Northeast our weather can be unpredictable and fall sometimes c...
— Mrs. Judith Hobbs
When I ordered from Flowers by the Sea I expected to receive the usual seedlings many companies send. To my surprise I received large specimens, some in bloom. I am impressed with both the plants and the plant-saving packaging that helped them survive a week in transit. Truly fine plants and people!
— Alana Hammons
In one word? WOW! May the Lord continue to bless you and yours to prosper.
— Jimmy Lee Brooks Jr
I received my second order of great looking plants - they were sent on Monday and didn't arrive until Friday - only slightly limp; I said "great looking" because they were thick, bushy and very healthy looking.
— Doris Wilkinson
After our former pest control company stepped on our Salvia Buchananii, we spent weeks looking for a replacement. No local retailer or wholesaler could find anything. I finally stumbled on FBTS but I was concerned that they only had 4" pots. My experience with that size is they are so small that the roots don't make it over a wet winter or hot summer. To my surprise, the 4" plants from FBTS ...