by Charlene Burgi
Perennial plants are the backbone in your garden. They require little care and provide an abundance of color. Some perennials have edible leaves, flowers or fruit, while others grace the garden with the perfect accent enhancing the surrounding plants.
One perennial that never fails to impress me is salvia. These plants have a long blooming season and can provide year-round color if varieties are well chosen. Some varieties begin their blooming season in early spring while others carry on during and after the dog days of summer when all else in the plant world stops blooming.
With over 100 known varieties, you can find an assortment of sizes and flower colors that can fit your garden needs. Some plant types can be used as a seven-foot screen, while others trail along the ground between stepping stones. Salvia typically comes in shades of blue and purple, but some varieties bloom in yellow, pink, red or white.
Animals and beneficial insects are not strangers to these plants. Bees gather the flowers’ pollen, while hummingbirds flock to the sweet nectar for their source of food. While nothing is deer-proof, deer tend to walk past them without stopping to browse since they are not fond of the herbal taste of salvia’s foliage.
Salvia is also found all over the world. Some plants can grow in the summer heat of the desert or take the frigid winter cold found in Alaska. In California, salvias have adapted to our dry, sunny climate. They grow in our coastal regions as well as in higher elevations. Some California native salvias you might find are: Salvia spathacea (hummingbird sage), Salvia apiana (CA white sage), and Salvia sonomensis (creeping sage). May I suggest visiting a local nursery to see these beauties?
Join Us Saturday!
Speaking of natives, come celebrate the first California Native Plant Week along with Earth Day this Saturday with Charlotte Torgovitsky and me. We will be teaching the Bay-Friendly “Go Native – Planting for Pollinators” class from 9:00 a.m. – noon at MMWD. Please register for the class. We will be teaching propagation and planting native seeds (which includes two types of salvia).
Save with Conservation Coupons
A number of local plumbers and retailers are offering spring savings on their services and products to assist you with the purchase of water-efficient products for your home and garden. This is a great opportunity to replace that old water-wasting toilet or make some water-wise upgrades outdoors. Click here to browse and print coupons that will help you save a bit of green and our collective blue.