Behold the majesty that is the salvia border at my favorite local nursery. They plant this every year, and it runs the entire length of the parking lot. I always pause to watch the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds browsing in it, and believe me, there’s plenty of action. Salvia is a member of the mint family, and includes about 1,000 species of annuals, shrubs and herbaceous perennials.
Here’s a closer look. That azure plant is salvia uliginosa, or bog sage. The intense, pure color always stops me dead in my tracks. As the same implies, this plant likes a lot of moisture. It did not fare well in my border, where things can get a bit dry during the hottest part of the summer.
I believe the sage in the foreground is “Indigo Spires,” a terrific cultivar that I have grown successfully here in RI as an annual. It grows to about four feet high and puts on a spectacular, non-stop show all summer. It is questionably hardy to Zone 7 – with winter protection – which to me means it’s not hardy where I live.
Here’s the border looking the other way. Notice the verbena bonariensis they have planted in there, too. Another huge pollinator attractant.
The only sage I am growing these days is the ubiquitous “May Night,” which is okay but does not bloom through the summer. This border has inspired me to get reacquainted with Indigo Spires, which I’ll try to find and grow as an annual.
By the way, if you Google “Salvia” you get a bunch of websites about its use as a recreational drug. A sad commentary on our times.