Garden Sage

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Salvia Officinalis

Garden Sage makes a wonderful herb to plant by your garden gate.  While it might not have the striking appeal of some other sage varieties, plain garden sage more than makes up for that with its lovely earthy fragrance every time those soft leaves are touched.   If I didn’t have happy boisterous dogs, I would also plant Garden Sage by my front door for good health.

Description

Garden Sage is a hardy perennial herb with soft velvety leaves.   As it ages, the stems become quite woody but the growth remains dense and full in well nourished ground.    Garden Sage has a short flowering time with small blue flowers that bees are fond of.

gardensageGrowing Information

Perennial in  Zones 5 – 9,  can be grown as an annual in cooler climes if started indoors eight weeks before the last frost.

Sages of all sorts prefer full sun and are great plants for gardeners who need to conserve water.   Once they are established, all sages actually prefer not to get their feet too wet.

Even in milder climates, sages of any variety benefit from heavy organic mulch to protect them from cold weather before they are blanketed with snow.

Garden Sage can be helpful companion plants for cabbage, carrots and tomatoes.   Sages of any sort should not be grown near Rue or onions.     Cucumbers will not do well when planted near sage.

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Notes

Unless one is cooking for a crowd, there is no need to harvest the entire plant for winter stores.    Individual leaves freeze dry very well on trays and winter well if they are layered in a container lined with parchment paper in the freezer.    Leaves can also be preserved in oil or processed in the same fashion as pesto.

If one is making bundles for smudging, the plant is best harvested and tied in shape after flowering   Hang individually to dry.