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Everything Salvias Blog

Everything Salvias Blog

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.




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Everything Salvias Blog Entries


Getting Started: What Is Drought and Xeriscaping

Getting Started: What Is Drought and Xeriscaping


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.
Creating Oases in Dry Yards With FBTS Container Gardens​

Creating Oases in Dry Yards With FBTS Container Gardens​


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.
White Sage

White Sage


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.
New at FBTS: Rosy Drought-Resistant Butterfly Sun Mix

New at FBTS: Rosy Drought-Resistant Butterfly Sun Mix


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').
The Roseleaf Sage Group: Who's Who & What's What

The Roseleaf Sage Group: Who's Who & What's What


Category: Celebrity Salvias
Posted: Jun 28, 2015 01:37 PM
Synopsis:

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.

Growing Habitat: Three Tough Milkweeds to Help Monarchs

Growing Habitat: Three Tough Milkweeds to Help Monarchs


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.
Getting Started: Salvias for the Southwest

Getting Started: Salvias for the Southwest


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.
Divine Salvias & Companions for Hell-Strip Gardens

Divine Salvias & Companions for Hell-Strip Gardens


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.
New at FBTS: Two New Himalayan Salvias from Chris Chadwell

New at FBTS: Two New Himalayan Salvias from Chris Chadwell


Category: New at FBTS
Posted: May 21, 2015 02:48 PM
Synopsis: Yellow Salvias are rare, and so are professional plant explorers. Add to this list another rarity -- the availability online of high altitude, Himalayan plants grown from seed collected in the wild. Flowers by the Sea, our Northern California horticultural farm and online plant nursery, obtained seed for two new Salvias from British botanist and plant explorer Chris Chadwell. We're not certain that both plants are yellow-flowered Campanula Leaf Sage (Salvia campanulata), but FBTS is beginning sales now as we test these vigorous plants. Chadwell is an independent plantsman who supports his treks and research by selling shares in the results of his expeditions. FBTS is a subscriber. Himalayan Gloxinia (Incarvillea arguta) is another of our plants from Chadwell seed.
Getting Started: Salvias for Zone 8

Getting Started: Salvias for Zone 8


Category: Getting Started with Salvias
Posted: May 14, 2015 07:03 PM
Synopsis: Rainfall often is heavy in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 8. It swings in a deep, broad arc from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast and back up the East Coast to the northeast edge of Virginia. What all its diverse areas have in common climatically is an average low winter temperature of 10 degrees F. Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery discusses growing conditions and how to select Salvias for your part of Zone 8 whether wet or dry.