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.
I ordered 6 plants in early July. They were shipped very quickly by FBTS. I was stunned when the box arrived completely beat up. I was worried about my new plants. I opened up the box, and it took sometime to unwrap the plants, due to the extra packing efforts of FBTS. I was amazed that there was only very minor damage to one plant! All of the plants are in the ground now, and looking great!
I ordered 3 of the Salvia x Greggii (Rasberry Delight) and 2 of Salvia Coahuilensis. All arrived at the time promised. As recommended,I set them under a tree to recover from a 7 days journey to the east coast. They were planted in the ground about 10 days later and all are doing very well. I`m expecting flower buds within the next couple of weeks. I would recommend express mail for future purc...
I was really impressed with the quality and size of the plants. Within a week or so, the Salvias doubled in fullness, and blooming like crazy! Just beautiful plants!
— Susan hartwig
The 3 Salvia sagittata arrived healthy and have taken off. The 1 Salvia patens Guanajuato had very few roots. It was loose in the pot and perhaps suffered root damage in the long transit. It's not dead, but is the plant TLC and has lost one stem. The packing was good. I think occasional losses are just part of ordering plants by mail. Would order from them again.
My plants arrived quickly and in very good condition. With watering they were completely revived within a few days and are thriving in the garden.
— Linda Rubio
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...
— Marie Lewis
I was very happy when my plants arrived to see that they were large and very well packed. I live in MIchigan so they had to come quite a distance. They arrived in perfect shape. They are doing well now that they are planted. I know that Michigan is fairly far north for these salvias but I hope they will make it.
I find salvias so addictive, and finding this site was a great thing for me! There are so many different kinds so you can have a wide variety of looks and colors, while still providing nectar for the pollinators. My garden is a registered Monarch Watch site so I have to be careful that I'm providing the right plants for the pollinators to thrive. With FBTS's salvia categories this could no...
— Lisa Cloutier
Terrific plants! Nice size to the plants (much larger than competitors), with great root systems (have spent quite a bit of time in the pots instead of recent transplants), and well-packed. Will definitely be a repeat customer.
— Michael Baudino
Impressed with the prompt and friendly service. Plants received in good healthy condition. Am enjoying the growing process and looking forward to the beautiful blooms.