Friday, October 17, 2014

Sage Garden Advice

If you are looking for a low maintenance bang for your buck in your garden and need something that will thrive in full sun, then look no further than pineapple sage (Salvia elegans). I got mine at Home Depot in a herb sale in mid-July (when people are apparently not buying a lot of herbs). The plant started small, the same size as most other herbs, but has grown in my front yard to nearly five feet! And the leaves really do smell like pineapple, which is really nice when you walk past it or when there is a breeze. But the biggest payoff are the beautiful scarlet blooms, which started opening up about the same time as my chrysanthemums.

Pineapple sage bloom, detail
Pineapple sage with golden and silver sage
It's stunning. I am sorry that these photos don't do it the justice it deserves. And I love having something so dramatic in my yard this time of year now that the daisies and coneflowers are cut back for the winter. (That area of the yard looks so BARREN now.)

Last year, I started planting both golden (Salvia officinalis ‘Aurea’) and purple (Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’) sage as a border around my front walkway. I had gotten the idea from the kitchen gardens at Kew Palace, which I thought were even more amazing than the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew (probably because the kitchen gardens were more achievable at home than the rest of the place). I hadn't realized that the pineapple sage was going to get so big until I got home and read about it, but I really think it is a nice addition to the walk up to the front door. (And planting it allowed me to pull out this really awful shrub that grew over the walk and was full of aphids and that I just HATED.)

I really hope it survives the winter.  It's so hard to know with herbs in New England. The fact that it will get sun all winter has got to help. Next year, I think that I am going to get a couple more and plant them in the front circle with the echinacea and daisies so that part of the yard will also look nice next fall. Even if they don't make it through the winter, I think something like this is worth replacing.

1 comment:

  1. Melanie, that is so beautiful. It really looks good with the color and style of siding of your house. I'd definitely replant in the spring if it doesn't survive the winter.



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