I didn’t realize that when I agreed to expand the garage for my husband’s Mustang restoration project, I was also in on the garden restoration project. After removing water-loving camellias, azaleas and ferns from the north side of the old garage, I recognized the opportunity to create a truly drought-tolerant garden. Now, where do you start?
I checked the Master Gardener and City of Visalia sites for landscaping ideas and plants, and this Salvia plant came up again and again. So, that’s what I thought of first.
The name Salvia is derived from the Latin word salver, which means “healing.” As it stands, salvia has been used for its herbal and medicinal properties since ancient times. The Salvia genus offers gardeners one of the largest and most diverse collections of plants available. Since the 1970s, this genus has produced some of the most popular ornamental plants in gardens. Sage can be used as ground covers, bedding plants, herbaceous perennials and shrubs. A relative of the familiar kitchen sage, many species of salvia produce spikes of small, dense flowers atop aromatic foliage. These heat- and drought-tolerant beauties bloom from early to late summer in shades of blue, violet, red, pink and white. Plants can grow between 18 inches and 5 feet tall, depending on the variety.