Garden Sages

 
Today was painfully frigid with temperatures well below 0 degrees F.  We didn’t have any activity out in the gardens but the Horticulture Center saw a lot of volunteers and related action.  In the office, Gary worked on labels, Janice worked on the Spring Plant Sale (Mother’s Day weekend) and Kay processed seeds and prepared labels for our growers.  Cindy B. was in later to help with processing incoming seed orders.  Pat processed lights from the Holiday Lights Show for storage while Dr. Gredler did some more painting.  Vern, Dave, Jim, Ron Y., Dick H. and Bob K. all worked on our carpentry projects with very evident progress.  Del was in to help tidy up and Larry and Bill had many tasks as well.  Maury was back and running errands for us and we also saw Rollie, Big John, Mark S., Mary W., Shirley C. and many others.
 
The “blog focus” today is on garden sages (Salvia officinalis) which are true “ornamental edibles” with culinary use (seasoning) and certainly foliar beauty.  The image at the top is a hodge podge of the varieties ‘Aurea’, ‘Purpurascens’ and ‘Tricolor’ although they are also featured further below.  Salvia officinalis is listed as a zone 5 perennial for hardiness and while we have seen it come back after milder winters with ample snow cover, we typically plant it as an annual for instant impact.  The silver forms (including the “straight species”) are showy, particularly in the evening garden.  In our summers, all of these selections will usually get 15″-18″ in height and you wont see blooms.  The foliage is dynamite and we use them as bedding plants with plant groupings or as specimens in borders or containers.  We’ll have all three of these at the Mother’s Day weekend Spring Plant Sale which also features a wide range of vegetables, herbs, perennials, shrubs, etc. 
 
Salvia officinalis ‘Berggarten’
 Salvia officinalis ‘Berggarten’
 Salvia officinalis ‘Berggarten’
Salvia officinalis ‘Sage of Bath’
 Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’
  Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’
 Salvia officinalis ‘Tricolor’
Salvia officinalis ‘Tricolor’

 Salvia officinalis ‘Tricolor’ with Salvia officinalis ‘Aurea’
 Salvia officinalis ‘Aurea’
 Salvia officinalis ‘Aurea’ with Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’
 Salvia officinalis ‘Iceterina’
 A showy container of foliage with (left to right), ‘Tricolor’, ‘Aurea’ and ‘Purpurascens’

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