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New at FBTS

Technology isn't the only field where change is constant. Horticulture is dynamic; new plants are constantly being introduced. Selecting the best of the best can be daunting even if you are primarily dealing with one genus. Make that one huge genus, because there are about 900 species of true sages, or Salvias, worldwide.

We do our best to help you sample the Salvia world, including new varieties of sage species and companion plants. Our New at FBTS articles detail introductions to our catalog; some are brand new to commercial horticulture and others are simply new additions to our gardens. Please contact us if you would like to share your experience with these plants or other introductions.

Meet Salvia rosmarinus: A New Addition to the Sage Genus

Posted: Saturday, January 27, 2018
Synopsis: Bees adore rosemary, the powerfully resinous Mediterranean native known both as a groundcover spilling over garden slopes and as an accent or tall hedge plant.  Plant scientists who closely examined its DNA suggest moving the Rosmarinus genus into the Salvia genus. Flowers by the Sea now grows two kinds of Salvia rosmarinus.

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We've Made Shipping Changes to Simplify Your Life & Ours

Posted: Saturday, May 13, 2017
Synopsis: To improve our ordering process, Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery no longer accepts split orders. Dividing an order for delivery on more than one date created confusion and errors.

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New at FBTS: Hummingbirds Thrive on Margie Griffith Sage

Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2017
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.

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New at FBTS: Take a Peek at 'Quick Look'

Posted: Monday, December 7, 2015
Synopsis: Quick Look is a new shortcut on the Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery homepage that takes you quickly to galleries of Salvia groups in our online catalog. FBTS wants to make your shopping and gardening life easier.

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New at FBTS: Butterflies Love Perennial Echeandia Texensis

Posted: Monday, September 7, 2015
Synopsis: It isn't surprising that the golden flowers of the drought-resistant, perennial Texas Craglily (Echeandia texensis) are tops for attracting butterflies. The plant was first discovered on Green Island in Laguna Madre, which is at the southernmost tip of Texas. The area is part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, which is home to 300 butterfly species. Texas Craglily is an adaptable plant that grows well both in dry and somewhat damp conditions and from California to the Southeast. But it is a rare species that may be threatened by land development and the U.S./Mexico border fence.

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New at FBTS: Salvias & Companions for Containers

Posted: Thursday, July 23, 2015

Erase your mental image of short plants in container flower gardens. New offerings at Flowers by the Sea include Salvias and companion plants from tiny to tall that thrive in containers as well as in the ground. Some of the plants featured here develop relatively shallow roots and perform well in smaller pots. But as root systems expand, repotting may be necessary more than one time, especially for shrubs. Learn more at our Everything Salvias Blog.

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New at FBTS: Rosy Drought-Resistant Butterfly Sun Mix

Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2015

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').

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Divine Salvias & Companions for Hell-Strip Gardens

Posted: Saturday, May 30, 2015

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.

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New at FBTS: Two New Himalayan Salvias from Chris Chadwell

Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2015
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.

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New at FBTS: Elegant Salvia valentina

Posted: Friday, April 10, 2015
Synopsis: Flowers by the Sea Online Salvia Nursery has fallen hard for the delicate look but rugged constitution of wildflower sages from Valencia on Spain's Mediterranean coast, especially Strong Spanish Sage (Salvia valentina). S. valentina has upright form and looks elegant dressed up in tall spikes of deep lavender, double-lipped flowers from spring into summer. It's a meadow sage with fuzzy bracts and stems that mature from green to rich Pantone Marsala.

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New at FBTS: Going Loco for Poco Kniphofias

Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Synopsis: Poco means "little" in Spanish. However, perennial Poco Kniphofias pack plenty of punch in the garden, because they tolerate summer heat, survive winter chill, are long blooming and have foliage that stays attractive despite wind. Flowers by the Sea is one of the first nurseries to grow both these short and tidy yet powerfully hot-colored Kniphofias -- solid-colored red and orange hybrids -- from the dwarf Poco Series developed by Terra Nova Nurseries of Canby, Oregon.

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New at FBTS: Ember's Wish & Love and Wishes Salvias

Posted: Friday, July 25, 2014
Synopsis: Plants contribute to our lives in many ways -- as sources of beauty, building materials, clothing, food, fragrance, medicine and oxygen. Add hope and fulfillment to the list, because that is what three abundantly blooming Salvias from Australia add to the lives of seriously ill children. These plants form the Wish Collection -- Wendy's Wish Sage, Ember's Wish Sage, and Love and Wishes Sage. Flowers by the Sea is one of the first online nurseries in America to sell all three. Although we have grown and sold Wendy's Wish for a number of years, Ember's Wish and Love and Wishes are new at FBTS.

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Bat-Faced Beauty: Gardeners & Hummingbirds Love Cuphea schumannii

Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Synopsis: Most bat faces only look beautiful to their mothers. However bat-faced Cuphea schumannii seems pretty as punch to hummingbirds in search of a sweet drink of nectar. If you take a close look at the ragged, open end of each flower, you'll see two, tiny, lavender petals standing straight up like bat or mouse ears. So, despite its common name, Orange Cigar Plant, this species is known as a bat-faced Cuphea. Aside from being excellent for attracting pollinators, Cupheas are becoming important agricultural crops that reduce pesticide use.

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Salvia Companions: Kentish Hero Pouch Flowers

Posted: Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Synopsis: An ancient Welsh chieftain was the inspiration for the common name of Kentish Hero Pouch Flower (Calceolaria integrifolia 'Kentish Hero'). Bright orange as a pumpkin, its plump, prolific blossoms bloom from spring into summer lighting up perennial gardens. This is a water-loving member of the snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae) that grows well in sun and partial shade.

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New at FBTS: Suncrest Salvias

Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Synopsis: Drought-resistant, heat-tolerant, vibrantly colored Suncrest Salvias (sages) have arrived at Flowers by the Sea and will be available for shipping in April. Suncrest Salvias are floriferous hybrids of species native to the American Southwest and Mexico, including Mountain Sage (Salvia microphylla), Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii), Jame Sage (Salvia x jamensis) and Royal Purple Autumn Sage (Salvia muelleri).

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Upcoming at FBTS: Hummingbirds Love Cute Cupheas

Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bright orange, tube-shaped blossoms cover Cuphea x 'David Verity' like tiny windsocks blowing in a breeze and beckoning hummingbirds. Similar to Salvias, Cupheas are rich sources of nectar that fuel hummingbird migration. At Flowers by the Sea, we are always interested in expanding choices for creating wildlife habitat. So we are growing a wide variety of Cupheas for sale this coming spring, including David Verity.

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New at FBTS: Vermilion Bluffs ® Mexican Sage

Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013
Synopsis: A 'mass of scarlet awesomeness' is one way that Denver Botanic Gardens Senior Curator Panayoti Kelaidis describes Vermilion Bluffs® Mexican Sage (Salvia darcyi 'Pscarl') at his Prairie Break website. Unlike so many Southwestern sages, Vermilion Bluffs is surprisingly cold hardy as well as being drought tolerant. Its common name is taken from the spectacular red bluffs of the Vermillion Basin Wilderness in Northwestern Colorado, an area redolent with the scent of sage on hot days. But the plant is native to the Nuevo Leon area of Mexico's eastern Sierra Madre Occidental mountains. The story of how its parent plant arrived at Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG) and, eventually, at Flowers by the Sea is one of diaspora.

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New at FBTS: Salvia x jamensis 'California Sunset'

Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013
Synopsis: Viewing the creamy peach-pink and yellow of California Sunset Autumn Sage (Salvia x jamenis 'California Sunset') may remind you of a Georgia O'Keefe painting. Anyone who has viewed sunset dipping into the mountains of New Mexico knows that soft pastels are common to Southwestern sunsets. Similarly, subtle bicolored combinations of pastels are common characteristics of many S. x jamensis species, which are crosses between various Autumn Sages (Salvia greggii spp.) and Mountain Sages (Salvia microphylla spp.).

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New at FBTS: Salvia greggii 'Cold Hardy Pink'

Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2013
Synopsis: Salvia greggii 'Cold Hardy Pink', a variety of Autumn Sage, is made for Zone 5 winters. It tolerates conditions swinging from hot, dry summers to sub-zero winter temperatures. Pair it with Ultra Violet Sage (Salvia x 'Ultra Violet') for a tough yet lovely border.

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New at FBTS: Salvia Amistad and Friendship from Afar

Posted: Friday, March 22, 2013
Synopsis: Flowers by the Sea is selling "font-style: italic;">Salvia 'Amistad'. It was a mystery sage to University of Buenos Aires agronomy professor Rolando Uria when he encountered it at an Argentinian plant show in 2005. Discovering its extra-long-blooming characteristic along with the intense violet of its large blossoms, he began sharing it with friends and named it Friendship Sage.

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New at FBTS: Salvia x 'Ultra Violet' Defies Heat and Cold

Posted: Monday, March 18, 2013
Synopsis: In the Rocky Mountain West, conditions can swing from hellishly hot, dry summers to freezing cold winters. Many Southwestern Salvias are ideal for the sunbaked summers but have trouble surviving chilly Zone 5 winters. So we appreciate the cold hardiness as well as the drought resistance of one of our newest hybrid cultivars, Ultra Violet Sage (Salvia x ‘Ultra Violet’).

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Ask Mr Sage is one of the most popular categories in our Everything Salvias blog. Here are a few of the latest posts:
Ask Mr. Sage: How to Place Advance Orders with FBTS - Flowers by the Sea is a mail-order nursery eliminating craziness from garden planning with advance orders and customer selection of shipping dates. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature based on calls and emails received by FBTS. This article details how to use our redesigned preorder process and other catalog tools for making sure you get the plants you want when you want them. Ask Mr. Sage: How to Select Plants for Garden Triumph - Planning for Salvia garden success requires following the rule of selecting the right plant for the right place. Desert sages aren't appropriate for the damp Southeast. Moisture-loving ones aren't right for desert climates where they need lots of watering to survive. Flowers by the Sea Farm and Online Nursery offers tips for selecting plants based on local climate. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog. Ask Mr. Sage: How Should I Prune my Salvias? - Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery specializes in Salvias and often receives questions about how to prune them. Although getting good at pruning takes practice, Salvias rebound quickly if you make mistakes. A key to successful pruning is understanding the varying needs of four main categories of sages. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog. Ask Mr. Sage: Do You Offer Free Shipping? - Like free lunches, free shipping is a myth. Flowers by the Sea doesn't offer free shipping, because it would require increasing plant prices to cover the cost of shipping. Read more to learn how FBTS sets fair shipping prices. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and notes from customers. Ask Mr. Sage: Best Time to Plant Drought Resistant CA Natives - 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. Ask Mr. Sage: What Is Shipping in Boxes Like for Salvias? - 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.