My sage is blooming now, it is so pretty I just had to share it with you. This is my regular culinary sage. I must say I am very impressed with how drought tolerant it is! It is growing with some lavender and artimis plants. Both plants are known to be drought tolerant bloomers, but I was afraid the sage would need a little extra water.
Luckily, I was wrong. I started out with the best of watering intentions too, but you know how it goes what with the drought and all... I am happy to report that my culinary sage is just as beautiful and water thrifty as the other plants. Aside from rainfall, this little microclimate only gets extra water from me when it is 120 degrees outside or I happen to be out with the watering can.
I love the giant blue spikes of flowers. They bloom on stems that are square and woody, usually covered with hairs. It makes quite a statement out there in the back 40. This is the same sage I dry for use in the kitchen. You're supposed to pick the leaves just before the plant blooms but I hate to do that when there are buds forming. I'm sure it will still be fine. All parts of this grayish green plant are aromatic. Salvia leaves are long and thin, growing up to 4 inches long and 1/2 inch across. They are crinkly, fragrant and sticky and can be used in cooking either fresh or dried. Fresh sage branches are good for stuffing into chickens and turkey. To dry herbs, hang them upside down in a cool dry place. You can wrap your herb branches with cheesecloth or paper to keep off dust and insects.
Culinary Sage or salvia officinalis is native to the warm Mediterranean regions (so it matches mine nicely). They grow to a height of three feet tall and can spread as wide. Sage grows in full sun to partial, dappled shade, and are hardy to about 20 degrees. Did you know the genus named Salvia is derived from the Latin salvare, meaning “to heal” or “to sav"? Before modern medicine, sage tea was gargled for sore throats and cold tea was drunk to stop sweating.
Today, this little sage plant is just making my garden look pretty. Hmm, I'm thinking it would look good in a bouquet with Shasta Daisies or white Baby's Breath. Let me know what you think.