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 You are here    Flowers by the Sea /

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.

Explore the Categories:












































Here are all of our articles:
Hummingbirds in the Garden: Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Synopsis:

Planting a hummingbird garden filled with nectar-rich, long-blooming Salvias aids preservation of hummingbird species that migrate each year throughout North America. It also gives you a front-row seat to a fascinating aerobatics show. Backyard islands of colorful sages are like gas stations for hummingbirds' long-distance journeys. Salvias can keep your garden whirring with the helicopter-like flight of hummingbirds from spring through autumn and -- in warm climates -- into winter.



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Pixels Not Print: Go Paperless in 2013

Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Synopsis: Flowers by the Sea welcomes the Google "Go Paperless in 2013" initiative. From our viewpoint, it particularly highlights the need for commonsense actions, such as not publishing print catalogs. But the initiative isn't catching on fire.

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One-Pot Herb Garden Brings Sage and Summer Memories Indoors

Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Synopsis:

Growing a one-pot herb garden indoors is a fragrant reminder of summer. While some herbs need plenty of water, others - such as Culinary Sage (Salvia officinalis spp.) - need little. Aside from controlling soil moisture, keys to success include plant selection, pot size and drainage, appropriate potting mix, sufficient sunlight and indoor pruning to control growth.



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Sacred Sage: The Tongva Tribe & Coastal Sages

Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2013
Synopsis:

Less than 250 years ago, Black Sage and White Sage also helped feed and heal the Tongvas and other Southern California native peoples. Here is their story.



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Salvias Down South: 8 Must-Have Salvias for the Southwest

Posted: Friday, February 8, 2013
Synopsis:

You don’t have to be a fine artist to create a work of beauty in the garden. By selecting hardy, vibrantly colored native Salvias that can withstand Southwestern weather ranging from sullen heat and drought to raging rainstorms, you become a landscape painter. FBTS Online Nursery carries many choices for your palette.



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Salvia Small Talk: Back Off, Bunnies!

Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Synopsis:

If rabbits are destroying your flower beds, plant Sage. They don’t like the flavor.



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Pantone Pageant: A Chorus Line of Grayed Jade Designer Salvias

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Synopsis:

Sage is the common name for the uncommonly beautiful Salvia genus. But when designers describe a product as being sage-colored, they mean a shade of gray-green that they say is soothing and that harmonizes with a multitude of colors, including soft pastels, hot oranges and deep purples. A version of sage called "Grayed Jade 14-6011" is one of the Pantone color-matching system's top shades for the design industry this year. This post identifies some Grayed Jade plants in the Flowers by the Sea collection. They are fine peacemakers amid a Salvia garden based on a mixture of Pantone's top greens for 2013, which you can read about in previous articles from our Pantone Pageant series of designer colors in the landscape.



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Salvia Small Talk: A Bodacious Butterfly Name

Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013
Synopsis:

You may have better luck finding the Two-tailed Tiger Swallowtail among your Salvias than pronouncing its many long names.



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Salvia Small Talk: Backyard Wildlife Habitat

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Synopsis:

Gardeners interested in developing wildlife habitat on balconies or in backyards can acquire certification



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Paperless Catalog Conserves Resources and Lowers Prices

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013
Synopsis:

Don't expect a catalog in your mailbox from Flowers by the Sea, because we have never printed one and refuse to do so. Print catalogs are tree-munching dinosaurs on their way to extinction due to the rapidly changing world of digital technology. Online catalogs are environmentally friendly and save our customers money, because we can keep our plant prices low.



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Salvia Small Talk: Sage & Potato Soup

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013
Synopsis:

Potato-vegetable soup containing lots of fresh Sage is a good cold-weather meal.



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Salvia Summit II: An International Gathering of Sage Thought, March 7 to 10

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013
Synopsis:

Salvias thrive in many different climates and parts of the world. Consequently, those who love the genus are an international tribe stretching from Alaska to Argentina and from South Africa to Southern California. Members of the tribe, from Salvia experts to home gardeners, will gather March 7 to 9 at Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, for Salvia Summit II. Speakers will include academics, horticulturists, researchers and a forensic scientist specializing in Salvia chemistry. This event follows up on Salvia Summit I, which was held in 2008 on California's Central Coast at Cabrillo College.



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Pantone Pageant: "Tender Shoots Green" Designer Salvias

Posted: Monday, January 7, 2013
Synopsis:

Lime is the kind of bright, cheerful color that practically shouts, “Hey, look at me!” Limelight Mexican Sage (Salvia Mexicana ‘Limelight’) is the kind of plant that makes you say, “Hey, look at that! Let’s plant it.” It brightens the landscape with its startling contrast of chartreuse-lime foliage and deep violet-blue flowers. Among the hundreds of Salvias that we grow at Flowers by the Sea, it is difficult to think of a more dramatic poster plant to illustrate “Tender Shoots 14-0446,” one of the greens that the Pantone color corporation says will be big this year with fashion and industrial designers. Three other lovely, lime Salvias originally from the Mediterranean and the Middle East are also discussed here. Although you may not feel comfortable stepping out in a pair of chartreuse jeans, your garden is a safe place to shout out your love of the color.



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Salvia Small Talk: Sage Remedies in 1814

Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2013
Synopsis: In 1814, physician and herbalist Nicholas Culpeper wrote about ancient remedies made from Sage.

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Pantone Pageant: Emerald Designer Salvias

Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Synopsis:

Emerald and other cool shades of green are among the hot colors for 2013, according to Pantone, a design-industry leader. Flowers by the Sea doesn't generally think of greens or of any colors in nature as being in or out. However, we think it is fun and fresh to consider garden design from a different perspective. Emerald is Pantone's top color for the year. This article about emerald-colored Salvias begins a pageant of sorts down the runway of our blog, showing how the Pantone color matching system can be used to shape landscaping decisions.



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Salvia Small Talk: Zones & Climate Change

Posted: Monday, December 31, 2012
Synopsis:

Have you double checked your USDA plant hardiness zone. You may be able to grow plants you weren’t possible in your area.



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Salvias Down South: How Salvias Behave in Florida

Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2012
Synopsis:

Salvias that grow well in Florida may behave differently from one region of the state to another. This may mystify gardeners who have just moved to Florida or have moved to a different area in the state. Based primarily on seasonal variations in temperature, the four main regions are North, Central, South and Tropical Florida.



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Salvias Down South: Salvia Success in Florida

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Synopsis:

Florida is one of the wettest states in the nation, yet it is a fine place to grow Salvias if you select shade-tolerant, moisture-loving species and ones native to Florida. Gardeners who are accustomed to growing Salvias in a dry climate face a variety of surprises in Florida gardens. These include recurrent periods of drought, many cloudy days and soil that is so poor it has to be amended for Salvias.



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Salvia Small Talk: Salvia Summit II Set for 2013

Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Synopsis: Salvia Summit II, a not-for-profit conference designed for Salvia experts and enthusiasts, will be held March 7 to 10, 2013 at Southern California's Huntington Botanical Gardens.

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Xeric Choices: 5 Must-Have Native Salvias for Southern California

Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2012
Synopsis:

Native plants are the best ones for local conditions. But sometimes boundaries designating what is native may be artificial. Here are five outstanding Xeric Salvias for Southern California, including one, not far over the Baja border, that offers intense drought resistance and violet-blue flowers.



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Xeric Choices: Xeriscape Basics & Ancient Ideas

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Synopsis:

To create a successful xeriscape garden, planning and design are essential. Planning helps you make better choices, which saves time, money and effort as well as water. A little bit of wisdom from ancient Native American practices doesn’t hurt either. While soil improvement is always helpful, it should be moderate for xeric Salvias, such as Autumn Sage and Mealy Cup Sage. Finally, pruning and thinning, strategic groupings of plants for frugal watering and mulching for protection against severe heat or winter chill all were key to ancient Southwestern agriculture as well as modern xeriscaping.



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Xeric Choices: How Xeriscape Won the West

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Synopsis:

How Xeriscape Won the West: Feast or famine: that’s the water situation out West. Unexpected torrential rains, flash floods and long periods of drought are acts of God that people can partially control through water diversion and storage as well as strategic conservation. Low-water landscaping -- coined as "xeriscape" by a Denver environmental planner -- has become popular in the West in the last 30 years.



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Xeric Choices: Salvias in the Waterwise Garden

Posted: Saturday, December 15, 2012
Synopsis:

Lush but not lushes - that's one way you might sum up the majority of Salvias. Despite their long bloom times and bushy foliage, Salvias don't generally belly up to the water hose. Overall, they are perfect for xeriscape gardening -- the art of creating great beauty in the garden while conserving water.



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Salvia Small Talk: Zone Variations

Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Synopsis:

Sometimes USDA plant hardiness zones are more flexible than they seem if local microclimates allow a broader range of cold tolerance.



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Sage Words About Wildlife: Do Deer Devour Salvia?

Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Synopsis:

Salvias are not a favorite food for deer. However, they will eat some when plants they consider tasty are in short supply. There is no such thing as deer-proof plants, but you can limit deer damage to your landscaping and vegetable garden by planting lots of sages and other plants that aren't among deer favorites.



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