Xeric Choices: Salvias in the Waterwise Garden
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 moderate when it comes to drinking. The most abstemious of the lot -- which are numerous and seem to need little water at all -- are perfect for xeriscape gardening.
Xeriscape (pronounced “zeerascape”) is the art of creating great beauty in the garden while conserving water. It is an important aspect of sustainability, which is a major focus at Flowers by the Sea.
What Is Sustainability?
Sustainability can be defined, in part, as being productive in harmony with nature. It is a practice – concerning the use of water, land and materials -- that involves the built environment as well as agriculture and horticulture.
Aside from cultivating colorful, healthy, ornamental plants and customer confidence, we cultivate sustainability at Flowers by the Sea Farm and Online Nursery. This involves good stewardship of land, such as through organic farming practices, including composting to improve soil. It also involves conserving water.
The more we conserve water, the more we succeed financially and feel better about doing the right thing. The more we help you conserve water while growing pleasing landscapes, the more we all succeed in improving the environment.
A Series About Xeriscape
Converting your front yard to crushed rock and cacti isn’t a good solution to drought. That is one reason why FBTS grows so many species of drought-tolerant Salvias. It’s also the reason why we publish articles about the importance of xeriscape plants and design. We don’t believe that dry climates need to be dreary.
You likely wouldn’t know it to look at them, but xeric plants are tough customers when it comes to toughing out drought. Especially in the West, which is well known for its water shortages, adding Salvias and other low-water, ornamental plants to landscapes conserves a precious resource without giving up what is pretty.
In our next "Xeric Choices" post, we’ll explain the beginnings of xeriscape, a gardening method developed in Colorado more than 30 years ago. Then we’ll move on to consider the basics of the method and its links to ancient Native American practices. We promise the subject won’t be dry. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about selecting Salvias and companion plants for a sustainable landscape, please call or email us at FBTS.