(Arizona Blue Sage) We are so impressed with this top-performing, drought-resistant ground cover that we have rated it best of class. Arizona Blue Sage is adaptable to a variety of shady conditions and blossoms so abundantly that it seems to have as many rich blue flowers as it has leaves. It is native to dry, shaded areas in mountain canyons in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
This softly mounded plant also works well as a patio container plant. Although it grows well for us in dense shade, it does particularly well in spots where it receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Providing regular watering based on local conditions is best, but this hardy perennial tolerates shortages. It also can withstand a wide temperature range, including extreme summer heat and the chill of Zone 6 winters when mulched.
(Variegated Bear's Breeches) Found in Tasmania, this gem is the first variegated Acanthus! 'Tasmanian Angel' offers striking, bold leaves with white margins and mottling. It forms a large clump with 3' to 4' tall ornamental flower stalks of pink and cream in late summer. These flowers are SPECTACULAR!
This plant is tolerant of most soils, thriving in deep, fertile, moist, and well-drained conditions. We grow our stock for two years before sale, ensuring a root system that will ensure fast establishment and growth.
Note for Zone 9 and above gardeners: This plant grows best in the fall, winter and spring and slows to a semi-dormant state in the heat of the summer. Blooming here is almost year-round.
(Blue Mealy Cup Sage) This Texas native species is one of the mainstays of gardens worldwide. Tidy, easy to grow, hardy, long blooming and undemanding, Mealy Cup Sage belongs in almost any sunny garden. Due to the popularity of the species, the number of varieties is staggering.
Hands down, Salvia farinacea 'Henry Deulberg' is the best blue-flowering cultivar of the lot. The story behind this plant and its closely related, white-flowering mate Salvia farinacea 'Augusta Duelberg', is the subject of our blog post: Salvias in the Cemetery: Meet the Duelbergs.
Butterflies, honeybees and hummingbirds all find Mealy Cup Sage irresistable, but deer aren't so fond of it.
The Deulberg cultivars are so drought resistant and heat tolerant that they can grow well in locations that are almost never irrigated. Hence, their discovery in a dusty Texas graveyard. So don't over water Henry or Augusta! Growing them together as a border is a lovely and waterwise plan.
Plant this sage in the spring and expect a long bloom time from summer through fall. Remember that the Deulbergs love full sun.
Hummingbirds love Salvia (sage) nectar and are attracted to it by the bright colors of tubular sage blossoms. In particular, these little whirlybirds can easily spot flowers in the red spectrum, which is prevalent among sages. Here are some hummingbird gardening tips.
Fragrance as well as color attracts butterflies. However, they don't have noses. Instead, butterflies smell and taste with their antennas and feet. Here are some ways to attract them:
If you live in suburbs or rural areas where deer plunder gardens, Salvias (sages) can be part of your plan for discouraging these hungry visitors. Here are some tips.