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: 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.
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.
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.
Kermit and Vicky are so pleasant to work with. They sent the package promptly and the plants are absolutely gorgeous! There was a mistake with the order and they were wonderful to work with on the correction. Highly recommended!
— Ian Simpkins
Very well grown healthy plants. The best mail order plants I have received from numerous growers. For the size of the plants they were priced appropriately.
— Jerald Basham
I'm very impressed with the quality of you're plants. The five or six I've ordered the past two years are thriving . I will continue to order from you as long as I have room in my garden. Just a great website to have discovered ! Thanks, Spencer
— spencer cornish
I was ecstatic last month when I found this nursery while searching for information on Canary Island Sage.Then, when I discovered that they had Salvia azurea, I just knew that I had to order some things.All told, I ended up ordering 7 plants the week before a big Salvia conference. When they got back, we sorted out shipping everything in one box.It arrived two days later, which happened to be ...
I received my Salvia in a very timely manner in excellent condition. It is growing very rapidly and is looking very fresh and healthy. I really appreciate the many different Salvias that are available through Flowers by the Sea. The collection is not available anywhere else, I'm sure. I'm so happy I found their web site, which by the way, is the most outstanding and informative web site I h...
— D. Chairez
I bought three Dara's Choice salvia for a xeric garden, simply on the basis that I had no other idea what to put in it, and all three plants are doing spectacularly. - from small pots to 3' or more wide in less than six months. I only water them once a month, and the weather's been hot and dry. The leaves are dark green and provide a wonderful foil for the Centaurea (that I also purchased here)...
The plants we received are excellent in every way. With just a couple of weeks in the ground, there is already a bloom stalk on Mango Popsicle. We couldn't be more pleased. We will definitely recommend you, and have done so on one of the ATP Forums.
— Janice Krause
The plants I received yesterday arrived in great shape, thanks for the extra care you took in packing! I've purchased quite a few salvias recently but can't comment much on any of them yet as they're all too new. I'm trying a variety and excited to see if they all survive the winter here in Portland, Oregon. Thanks again.
— Janice Watanabe
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
I am very happy with my experience with Flowers by the Sea. Ordering was easy and the plants arrived in great shape. Thank you!