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). But please note: This is a dangerous place for a sage lover.

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Here are all of our articles:
Ask Mr. Sage: How to Place Advance Orders with FBTS

Posted: Monday, November 23, 2020
Synopsis:

What is Advance ordering at Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery? It's a program for ordering plants and selecting specific shipping dates well before planting time. Mr. Sage answers customer questions like this one in the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog. 



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Ask Mr. Sage: How Many Plants Fit in an FBTS Shipping Box?

Posted: Friday, November 6, 2020
Synopsis:

How many Salvias can fit in a shipping box from Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery? Ask Mr. Sage is a column answering customer questions in the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog. Read more about mail-order shipping of live plants.



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How to Defend Homes Against Wildfires & Firescape with Salvias

Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Synopsis:

Home improvement, including landscaping, involves lots of decisions. This is especially true when modifying your property to protect against wildfires. Flammability is usually the last thought on a gardener's mind when planning what to purchase. But if you live in wildfire country and are a Salvia lover, you may have noticed sages on lists of fire-resistant plants. Read more about wildfire preparedness at FBTS.



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Ask Mr. Sage: What Size Pot Is Best for Transplanting Sages?

Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2020
Synopsis:

After your Salvias from Flowers by the Sea arrive, what size pots should you transplant them in for your container garden? The answer depends on the kind of sages you need to transplant. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature in our FBTS Everything Salvias Blog that answers customer questions about growing sages and companion plants.



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Ask Mr. Sage: Why Don't You Grow this New Salvia?

Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Synopsis:

Plant developers introduce dozens of new Salvia varieties yearly. Flowers by the Sea Farm & Online Nursery selects the best following a careful trialing process. Learn more at Ask Mr. Sage, a column responding to customer questions in the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog.



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Cultivating Color: Rare Yellows in the Salvia Garden

Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020
Synopsis:

Among Salvias, one might say yellow represents rarity because, overall, it’s an uncommon flower color for sages. But China and Japan are home to a number of yellow-flowered species, especially shade-loving types. Read more at Everything Salvias.



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Ask Mr. Sage: Can I Plant Salvias in Summer?

Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Synopsis:

Watch out for sayings that warn against planting in summer. It's a good time to transplant Salvias if you give them some extra care. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of Our Everything Salvias Blog and is based on customer questions.



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A Guide to Successful Potting Soils for Salvias

Posted: Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Synopsis:

One of the decisions that Salvia gardeners face in spring is what kind of potting mix to use for outdoor container plants. Find answers in FBTS Farm & Online Nursery's guide to successful potting soils for Salvias. 



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Pretty, Practical Cottage Gardens Rooted in Pandemic History

Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020
Synopsis:

Romantic visions of small, rose-covered houses with thatched roofs and bountifully blooming yards don't tell the story of how cottage gardens came to be in the Middle Ages due to a devastating pandemic. FBTS Farm and Online Nursery talks about cottage gardening past and present.



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New Product Filtering Tool Helps You with Decision Making

Posted: Friday, April 24, 2020
Synopsis:

Flowers by the Sea now offers a powerful, do-it-yourself, product-filtering tool that makes plant selection easier and faster. It sets up a matrix of choices to help customers sort possible selections for their gardens based on USDA cold hardiness zones, sun exposure, mature height and spread of plants, soil type and water needs. This article explains how the tool works and provides examples of how to use it.



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Grow a Riot of Color with New Salvia Cottage Garden Collections

Posted: Thursday, April 2, 2020
Synopsis:

Cottage gardens make humble homes look spectacular with their densely packed color and foliage. FBTS Cottage Garden Collections are designed to brighten your yard with a riot of Salvias and companion plants.



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6 Indispensable Hummingbird Flowers for Long, Easy Bloom

Posted: Friday, March 27, 2020
Synopsis:

Hummingbirds are like tiny combat jets dive bombing each other when staking claim to the nectar-rich flowers they need for survival. Fights over nectar habitat can reduce hummingbird gardens to single occupancy. FBTS Farm and Online Nursery details and tells stories about its top six hummingbird flowers. Plant lots of them to accommodate a village of hungry hummers.

 



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Book Review: Stop. . .and Smell the Mints

Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2020
Synopsis:

Randy Collins was surprised when he got hooked on horticulture following retirement. But after a move to South Carolina, he was even more surprised at how deer destroyed his gardens until he began growing lots of mint family (Lamiaceae) plants like Salvias. It inspired him to write Stop...and Smell the Mints.



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Ask Mr. Sage: Why Cheap Shipping Is No Bargain

Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020
Synopsis:

Shipping charges are expensive. Flowers by the Sea can't compromise plant quality, so it can't charge fake bargain rates on shipping. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of our Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and notes from customers.



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Ask Mr. Sage: Can I Get Coronavirus From FBTS Shipments?

Posted: Friday, March 13, 2020
Synopsis:

Just like other people worldwide, customers of FBTS Farm and Online Nursery want to know if Coronavirus can be transmitted via mail-order packages. Researchers from the National Institures of Health say it is unlikely. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog and is based on inquiries from customers.



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A Guide to Growing and Respecting Sacred White Sage

Posted: Friday, February 7, 2020
Synopsis:

White Sage (Salvia apiana) is a sacred plant for Native Americans, especially tribes in its Southern California native lands. It's a challenging plant to grow. Flowers by the Sea Farm and Nursery talks about the history and religious use of Salvia apiana as well as providing a guide to growing it.



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New Shipping Method Combines Orders Easily & Saves You Money

Posted: Sunday, February 2, 2020
Synopsis:

All of us love retail services that make our lives easier, especially if they save us money. That’s the case with the new Combined Shipping Option for plant orders at Flowers by the Sea Online Nursery.



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UPS Shipping Rates for FBTS Going UP!

Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019
Synopsis:

Every November we get a letter from the president of UPS regarding shipping charges.  It is never good news.



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Ask Mr. Sage: Why Do Back-in-Stock Plants Disappear?

Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2019
Synopsis:

When FBTS plants are out of stock, customers have the option of receiving email notification when they are available again. But a back-in-stock alert doesn't indicate the quantity available. Sometimes there are few and sometimes many. Getting what you want requires quick response. Ask Mr. Sage, a regular feature of the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog, responds to customer questions.



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How David Verity Cuphea Became a Famous Hummingbird Flower

Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019
Synopsis:

When massed in borders or standing out as a main attraction in a container planting, Cuphea x ‘David Verity’ is a visual feast for people as well as an actual feast for small wildlife. Rich in nectar, the plant’s dainty, cigar-shaped, orange-red flowers nestle amid a cloud of mid-green leaves shaped like tiny garden trowels.



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Ask Mr Sage: What Kind of Plant Is a Clone?

Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Synopsis:

It's helpful to understand botanical terminology such as clone, variety, and cultivar. Mr. Sage explains what the three words mean and how the processes of cloning and plant development work. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the FBTS Everything Salvias Blog and is based on questions from customers.



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Book Reviews: Three Top Reads for Dry Gardening

Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Synopsis:

Don’t think “drab” when you hear the phrase “dry garden.” With guidance from good books and a willingness to experiment, you can create colorful flowerbeds and landscapes that require little to no supplemental watering. Here is a quick overview of three books that are excellent resources about sustainable dry gardening.



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Colorful Salvias Break Myth of Dry Garden Drabness

Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Synopsis:

Dry gardens are flowerbeds or entire landscapes based on ornamental perennials that require little to no watering once well rooted. Many Salvias are excellent, drought-resistant choices for these gardens. Flowers by the Sea Farm and Online Nursery talks about dry garden myths as well as low-water plants. 



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Himalayan Sage Is the Salvia Collector's Holy Grail: Part 2

Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2019
Synopsis:

Plants don’t have voices but they have stories to tell, including tales of discovery. It’s easy to see why the early 18th century plant explorer Victor Jacquemont would have paused to collect the rare Salvia hians while traversing broad expanses of northwestern India. This second half of our article about the alluring species digs into its history.  



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