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 You are here    Flowers by the Sea / Everything Salvias

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:
Celebrity Salvias: Fuzzy, Fancy Salvia Oxyphora

Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Synopsis:

A bright, cherry-licorice red, the large, fuzzy blossoms of Salvia oxyphora would make anyone stop and pay attention. Commonly known as Fuzzy Bolivian Sage or Bolivian Spearhead Sage, S. oxyphora has equally unusual foliage that fools the eye. At a distance, the plant’s lance-shaped leaves appear to be a smooth, glassy green. However, they are covered with tiny clear-to-white hairs. They’re also large -- growing up to 5 inches long and 2 inches wide at maturity -- and taper to long, sharp points. It was first collected near Cochabamba, Bolivia, by German botanist Otto Kunst in 1892



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Salvia Small Talk: Cooking with Salvia Flowers

Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Synopsis:

Some kinds of Salvia flowers make good additions to foods ranging from breads to salads. Growing the Salvias yourself is a good way to avoid toxins.



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Plant Safari Salvia in the South African Fynbos -- Part 2

Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Synopsis:

Flowers by the Sea is a home away from home for a number of South African Salvias that enjoy our moderate, Mediterranean climate. None are endangered species, but all face the threat of land development in the Western Cape's Fynbos Biome -- unparalleled for its variety of medicinal and ornamental native plants found nowhere else in the world. Preservationists are working to balance changes in land use and to maintain biodiversity in the CFR. Brutal poaching of rhinoceroses is one of the toughest problems they face.



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Salvia Small Talk: Annual, Biennial, Perennial

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Synopsis:

FBTS quickly explains the differences between annual, biennial and perennial Salvias



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Salvia Small Talk: Texas Hummingbird Roundup

Posted: Sunday, April 21, 2013
Synopsis:

Head 'em up; move 'em out. Texas birders participate in an annual Hummingbird Roundup to gather information about the state's 18 species.



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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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About our Farm: Growing Sage by the Sea

Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Synopsis:

Flowers by the Sea (FBTS) is a small, family farm that raises hundreds of species of Salvia and companion plants, including Plectranthus. We are proud of our beautiful plants, excellent customer service and 100 percent guarantee of satisfaction.



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Salvia Small Talk: Learning Leaf Talk

Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Synopsis:

Salvias are appealing for their foliage as well as their flowers. However, not everyone has time to learn botanical terminology. Flowers by the Sea tries to make scientific classification easier for those who don't talk the language of leaves.



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Plant Safari Salvia in the South African Fynbos -- Part 1

Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Synopsis:

Twenty-six species of Salvia are native to South Africa and of these, 10 grow nowhere else in the world. Salvias play an important role in providing habitat and food for wildlife as well as brightening the semi-arid landscape in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Some are used in cooking or provide material for herbal remedies used in the alternative medicines taken by many South Africans. Flowers by the Sea grows a number of tough yet lovely South African Salvias.



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15 Select Salvias for Dry, Partial-Shade Gardening

Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Synopsis:

Learning how to garden in dry shade requires mediation of the needs of all the plants involved. Dry shade is particularly abundant under trees, because they consume lots of water. Fortunately, numerous drought-resistant Salvias can handle life in dry, partial shade. Flowers by the Sea details basic considerations of dry shade gardening and identifies 15 sages for it.



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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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Salvia Small Talk: Sage -- Soul & Future of the West

Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Synopsis:

Los Angeles Times reporter Emily Green praises Salvia for its beauty, fragrance and drought resistance. She calls it an essential plant in the dry Western garden.



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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 Hybrid Sage (Salvia lycioides x greggii ‘Ultra Violet’).



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Pantone Pageant: Shady Salvias on a Mixed Blue Designer Patio

Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2013
Synopsis:

Got shade? Go ahead and get blue about it in the garden. We'll hold your hand, listen to your concerns and help you pick just the right shady salvias in hues to match the 2013 designer colors Dusk Blue and Monaco Blue from Pantone.



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Salvia Small Talk: Atmospheric Rivers & Bog Sage

Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Synopsis:

Bog Sage is a terrific plant for damp soil and stormy weather, such as powerful "pineapple express" events.



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About Our Farm: The Dang Dairy Cat Came Back

Posted: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Synopsis:

Farms need cats to keep rodents under control. Feisty Felix is the king of mousing in the greenhouses of Flowers by the Sea.



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Sage Words About Wildlife: Birdbath and Hummingbird Feeder Care

Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Synopsis:

Sometimes it is difficult for hummingbirds to get all the nectar they need from the garden, even if you have many Salvias. Hummingbird feeders supplement mother nature and attract a crowd of the Family Trochilidae. Water features, including misters, are also good attractants. However, both feeders and water features need to be kept clean so they don't harm hummers.



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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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