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:Xeric Choices Posted: Jul 14, 2015 06:00 AM Synopsis: Eco-vigilantes. That's what some newspapers call smartphone users who post photos and videos tagged droughtshaming on Twitter and other social media documenting careless water use by celebrities, everyday homeowners and businesses, especially in Southern California.
Category:Container Gardening Posted: Jul 11, 2015 04:38 PM Synopsis: Why is regular garden soil a poor choice for container gardening, and why is sterilized, soilless potting mix better. The term "sterilized" indicates that a potting medium is free of pathogens, weed seed and toxins. "Soilless" means that although it contains organic and inorganic matter, it isn't a garden soil. One of the main reasons to use a soilless mix is that it allows water to drain better in a confined space. Flowers by the Sea explains the basics of potting mixes and why no one recipe fits all needs.
Category:Getting Started with Salvias Posted: Jul 7, 2015 01:22 PM Synopsis: Drought is a shortage of precipitation over a season or more as in California where four years of drastic declines in rainfall and snowpack have created severe watering cutbacks. Drought is also defined by what and whom it affects from agriculture to homeowners. Flowers by the Sea Farm and Online Nursery explains drought and xeriscape, a water-conserving form of landscaping that is effective for gardening during drought and in dry climates. This article is part of the FBTS Getting Started series for gardeners becoming acquainted with Salvias (true sages). It includes a brief list of drought-resistant sages.
Category:Container Gardening Posted: Jul 6, 2015 09:47 AM Synopsis: Container gardening likely began in ancient Egypt with Pharaoh Ramesses III who created garden cities lined with potted trees and papyrus plants. Ramesses didn't have a mail-order plant nursery like Flowers by the Sea to help him determine what to grow and how to do it. He also didn't have three-day mail delivery. But you don't have minions to help you plan and plant your landscape. So FBTS has designed discounted container kits for a variety of growing conditions, including drought.
Category:Sacred Sages Posted: Jul 3, 2015 08:43 PM Synopsis: Bees and hummingbirds love the perennial subshrub Sacred White Sage (Salvia apiana) with its soaring spikes of white-to-lavender flowers that visually cool the landscape along with its large rosettes of lance-shaped, greenish-white foliage. Sacred White Sage is far more than a pretty native plant of California. Historically, it provided food and medicine for a number of Native American tribes along the Pacific Coast. Today, bundles of Sacred White Sage leaves are still tied together to create torch-like wands called smudge sticks for fragrant purification ceremonies far beyond the Native American community.
Category:New at FBTS Posted: Jun 30, 2015 03:58 PM Synopsis: When gardening in a dry climate, especially during drought, careful selection of plants that tolerate low-water conditions is essential to success. Flowers by the Sea Farm and Online Nursery grows many drought-tolerant salvias and companion plants, including pre-planned plant collections to make garden planning easier and help you save money. The new Rosy Drought-Resistant Sun Mix combines the creamy pink flowers of Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) and Indian Milkweed (Asclepias eriocarpa) with the deep lavender rose of Sonoran Sunset® Anise Hyssop (Agastache cana 'Sinning').
Differentiating between the plants in a closely related group can feel similar to being an outsider attending a large family reunion. Identifying who's who and how they are connected is a challenge. That's the way it is with Mexico's Roseleaf Sage (Salvia involucrata) Group, which is well loved by hummingbirds. One thing that may be confusing about the various cultivars and hybrids in the group is their abundance of puffy, tubular, magenta flowers. FBTS Online Plant Nursery grows a number of species from the group. Read more to learn about the randy Roseleaf Sage Group that hybridizes freely and includes many species that bloom in in winter.
Category:Butterflies in the Garden Posted: Jun 11, 2015 06:12 PM Synopsis: Flowers by the Sea Farm and Online Plant Nursery is serious about wildlife gardening and grows a number of milkweed species considered among the best for supporting Monarch butterflies. Three of the nursery's toughest, loveliest milkweeds are Indian Milkweed (Asclepias eriocarpa), Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) and Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). Read about the history of milkweeds and the reasons why Monarch butterflies are threatened due to a shortage of these tough yet lovely plants caused by herbicides. Learn how herbicides and pesticides harm Monarchs and other milkweed-loving pollinators.
Category:Getting Started with Salvias Posted: Jun 3, 2015 07:31 PM Synopsis: Ask anyone to describe the American Southwest, and they're likely to sum it up in three letters : "D-R-Y." Yet precipitation can vary a lot here state by state and even within different parts of the individual states. One thing that is consistent about the story of water throughout the Southwest, is that rain and snow can rapidly swing from famine to feast to misfortune.
Category:New at FBTS Posted: May 30, 2015 08:59 AM Synopsis: On a hot day, when struggling to break up compacted, weedy soil along a curb or another hellishly difficult strip of land, you may feel like you are descending into a horticultural inferno with a garden fork. But take heart and drink lots of ice water, because the results of your work may prove divine in a year or two. Some gardeners call these drought-resistant projects “hell strip” gardens, a name coined by garden writer and designer Lauren Springer Ogden. Flowers by the Sea offers ideas for four different hell strips based on USDA Plant Hardiness Zones.
Purchased plants as part of "grew too much" sale; plants arrived in good condition, and are adjusting well to the new home.
This is my third year I have ordered from Flowers by the Sea. I have received nice sized plants in very good condition. Every single one of the plants have flourished. Nice selection too.
Amazing plants! At least twice the size of plants from other places. Delivery is extremely fast. Packaging of plants is unique...
— Greg Smith
I ordered 3 salvia apiana (white sage) plants and they came in right on time. The three plants were large with shoots coming off f them already and a healthy root system. I had ordered 3 of the same plants from another online grower and they came in almost dead and have since died. I give Flowers By The Sea an EXCELLENT and will order from them again!!!!!Thank you,Jessica
I am a recent convert to being a salvia lover and I must say I LOVE browsing through the FBTS website which is wonderfully organized. You make it so easy to order, too. My first order arrived on time just a few weeks ago and I was really impressed with the packaging and the quality and size of the plants that were sent to me. Now it's up to me to keep them growing and thriving. I just placed an...
— Joanne Paine
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 have ordered plants from FBTS for the last 4 years, 17 plants in spring 2014. They are the most impressive plants in health and size that I have received from any mail order company. These are not little cuttings, but rather large bushy plants, typically 8-10 or more inches tall, full of buds and sometimes already blooming. They take off when planted. The varieties are as described on the we...
— Leslie MacGregor Levine
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
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
Ordering from Flowers by the Sea has been easy and efficient. All the plants I have received have thrived with minimal effort. They are a valuable source for new and interesting salvias as well as hard to find regulars. I would definitely recommend and use them again.