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.
Category:Getting Started with Salvias Posted: Feb 23, 2016 08:28 AM Synopsis: Salvias are a broad range of true sages in the mint family that grow worldwide. They include shrubs, perennials, annuals and subshrubs, which share both shrub and perennial characteristics. Flowers by the Sea, an online, mail-order Salvia nursery sells hundreds of Salvias.
FBTS offers and delivers fantastic products. I purchase high-end plants from plugs to full grown, specimen tree cultivars. FBTS has been a very welcome addition to my Maryland business. They have filled an important niche in my plant material supply chain, and I cannot recommend them enough. From containers to beds to borders, their plants deliver a difference to my clients gardens.
— Eric Wittman
The Salvia reglas and S. scordifolias that you sent are wonderful! They're in the ground and looking happy. You guys are a bit pricey (shipping?), but the plants are robust, and their rarity in the trade makes it worth it, as does your sage advice on planting in my particular climate. Too many of your competitors send runts in tiny pots at lousy planting times for Houston (zone 9a). Please ...
— dave sherron
I've been gardening for hummingbirds for the past 30+ years. Since my needs are so specific (and I live in an area where most of the best hummer attractants do not), I've used mail order suppliers almost exclusively. My choices have worked over the years - especially in 2005 when we were visited (in Michigan) by a White-eared Hummingbird. Prior to that, the furthest east one had ever been seen ...
— Melissa Pappas
Every time I order from fbts, the plants arrive and are beautiful, even after traveling across the US. I have been very satisfied with the plants I have ordered.
Plants were large and healthy! I'll be ordering from them again.
— Barbara Williams
We were very happy with the plants we ordered. We followed yoyr instructions and the plants are doing well
— Michael Meiser
BEAUTIFUL! love plants, beautifully packed and Kermit was most helpful! thanks...
— ann fischer
I received my first order of salvias from FBTS this year. The quality of their plants far exceeds that of any other mail order source that I have used......and believe me, I do a ton of plants by mail order!!!!Packing was excellent and not as annoying as some places that use multiple rubber bands to hold things together!!! FBTS will be my first place to search for salvias now!Vicky
— Vicky Krost
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...
Every plant that I've received from FBTS has been of exceptional size, vigor and quality. Every one ready to go into the ground and thrive! Their packing is exceptional and shipping is speedy. I highly recommend FTBS for their diversity of offerings, depth of knowledge and experience and top shelf mail order service.