Security Seals
0

Your Shopping Cart

Your cart is empty.
 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:
Quick Digs: Improving Soil for Spring in Salvia Gardens

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Synopsis:

This is the fifth article in our Quick Digs series about getting ready for spring in Salvia gardens. The previous post talked about weed control. Now we dig into soil and amendments, which aren't just additions to legal documents. The word also refers to materials added to soil to improve its structure and chemistry. These include organic matter, such as compost, as well as chemical fertilizers and minerals (lime and crushed rock are examples). Choices depend on the plants you want to grow and the current make-up of your garden soil.



Read the Article
Quick Digs: Spring Weeds in Salvia Gardens

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Synopsis:

Weeding is the topic of this fourth article in our Quick Digs series about preparing for spring in Salvia gardens. Getting ready for the emergence of previously planted perennials in spring and for planting new sages (Salvia spp.) requires weeding before amending soil and planting. Then, growing vigorously spreading sages and ones rich in aromatic plant chemicals called terpines can help control weeds.



Read the Article
Salvia Small Talk: Planting a Therapy Garden

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Synopsis:

Salvias are good additions to sensory gardens, because of their fragrance, texture and visual appeal. Plants with sensory appeal stir memory.



Read the Article
Quick Digs: Using the FBTS Wish List Gift Registry

Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Synopsis:

This third article in our Quick Digs series about preparing Salvia gardens for spring concerns the Flowers by the Sea Wish List for maintaining lists of plants you want and for use as a gift registry. Our Wish List removes the guesswork from gift giving while allowing givers to surprise recipients.



Read the Article
Ask Mr Sage: What do I with a dry root ball?

Posted: Saturday, March 17, 2018
Synopsis:

Plants may wither even if you regularly water them. When the ground surrounding a new planting's root ball is moist but the roots remain dry, that indicates moisture isn't transferring properly from the outer soil. Flowers by the Sea Nursery outlines a process for diagnosing dry root ball and combating it.



Read the Article
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.

Read the Article
Ask Mr. Sage: How to Place Advance Orders with FBTS

Posted: Friday, December 8, 2017
Synopsis:

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.



Read the Article
September in the Salvia Garden

Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Synopsis:

Depending on where you live, September may be a time to keep busy planting perennial Salvias or to hunker-down and plan garden recovery following storm damage. Each month, FBTS publishes a list of tips suggesting ways to maintain and beautify your Salvia garden. New plantings and transplanting of sages in autumn works well; dividing or pruning them doesn't.



Read the Article
Ask Mr. Sage: How to Select Plants for Garden Triumph

Posted: Saturday, August 19, 2017
Synopsis: 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.

Read the Article
Add Pale Dreamy Sages to Your List of Moon Garden Plants

Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017
Synopsis:

Moon gardens contain plants with pale flowers -- especially whites -- and silvery or variegated foliage that shine in moonlight. Some gardeners plant them to glow from afar when peering into the dark through a window. Others design these gardens for nighttime rambles. A number of white-flowered sages would be excellent additions to the dreamy design of a moon garden.



Read the Article
August in the Salvia Garden

Posted: Saturday, July 29, 2017
Synopsis:

August is a time when many sages grow rapidly and feed a frenzy of pollinators in need of rich nectar and pollen. It's hot, so you have to be careful not to let plants or yourself wilt.

Here are some tips for tasks from watering to planning when tending your garden this month.



Read the Article
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.



Read the Article
Ask Mr. Sage: How Should I Prune my Salvias?

Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017
Synopsis:

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.



Read the Article
Getting Started: Salvias for the Rocky Mountain West

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017
Synopsis:

High altitude, distance from large bodies of water and powerful chinook winds make the Rocky Mountain West a dry gardening environment even in years of higher than average rain and snow. The region's steep mountains have a major impact on where and how precipitation falls. Instead of a single mountain chain, the Rocky Mountains are made up of 100 separate ranges. Similarly, the Salvia genus contains a broad range of sages, many of which thrive in the climactic extremes of the Mountain West.



Read the Article
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.



Read the Article
Salvia Small Talk: Measuring Soil Drainage

Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Synopsis:

Well-drained soil for Salvias contains a loose mix of clay, coarse sand and organic matter.



Read the Article
Ask Mr. Sage: Best Time to Plant Drought Resistant CA Natives

Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2016
Synopsis: 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.

Read the Article
Ask Mr. Sage: What Is Shipping in Boxes Like for Salvias?

Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Synopsis: 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.

Read the Article
Sage Experts: Nancy Newfield, Hummingbird Gardener, Part III

Posted: Thursday, July 7, 2016
Synopsis:

It is ironic that one of the least social types of birds inspires so much sociability in human beings. We refer to hummingbirds, which are the object of festivals and the communal effort of bird banding research nationwide. This is the third and final article in a series about renowned hummingbird expert Nancy L. Newfield, who grows many Salvias in her hummingbird gardens. We recount a visit to Louisiana to observe Newfield and her team banding hummingbirds in winter. You'll also find a rainbow of top hummingbird Salvias listed here.

(Photo credit: John Owens)



Read the Article
Salvia Summit III Meets at Tilden Regional Park in October

Posted: Friday, May 13, 2016
Synopsis:

Botanists, horticulturists and gardening enthusiasts who love the Salvia genus are invited to Salvia Summit III – a global conference taking place from Friday, October 7, to Sunday October 9, 2016 in Berkeley, California. Lectures will be held at the Environmental Education Center of Tilden Regional Park, which is on the Berkeley boundary of the 2,079-acre park.



Read the Article
Sage Experts: Nancy Newfield, Hummingbird Gardener, Part II

Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2016
Synopsis:

Salvias are among the best hummingbird flowers and red is tops. That's what hummingbird researcher, Nancy L. Newfield began discovering more than 40 years ago. She found that  flower nectar was more attractive than nectar feeders. This is the second article in a 3-part series on Newfield and hummingbird gardening. It includes an excerpt from her book Hummingbird Gardens and an FBTS list of red hummingbird favorites. Bud Hensley photographed the hummingbird pictured here enjoying Salvia subrotunda.



Read the Article
Ask Mr. Sage: What Is Withering My Native Salvia?

Posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Synopsis:

A California native sage that looks like it is suffering from drought may actually have root disease caused by a water mold called Phytophthora. Natives are affected by types of this pathogen that strike when soil is moist and temperatures are hot. Ask Mr. Sage is a regular feature of the Everything Salvias Blog and is based on calls and emails from customers.



Read the Article
Container Gardening Basics: Watering Potted Plants

Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2016
Synopsis: Container plantings are welcome islands of color and fragrance whether in small or large yards. Their emergence signals the pleasures of summer, including icy glasses of lemonade. Potted plants have a mighty thirst, as well. Container garden plans for Salvias and companion plants need to factor in greater frequency of watering than the plants would receive in-ground.

Read the Article
Getting Started: What Are Salvias?

Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Synopsis:

Salvias are a broad range of true sages in the mint family that grow worldwide. They include shrubs, perennials, annuals and subshrubs, which share both shrub and perennial characteristics. Flowers by the Sea, an online, mail-order Salvia nursery sells hundreds of Salvias.



Read the Article
Salvias Down South: Southern California Butterfly Favorites

Posted: Friday, February 19, 2016
Synopsis:

Wildscaping a butterfly-friendly garden in Southern California is an act of kindness, especially toward imperiled species. Gardeners from Santa Barbara southward may want to group coastal sage and chaparral plants in their butterfly gardens, because those are among favorite sources of nectar for adult butterflies and host plants for caterpillars. Sages are popular nectar choices. Plants, such as Milkweeds and Impatiens, that work well both as nectar providers and caterpillar hosts are important additions.



Read the Article