Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Choose the 'way of the sage" !

Well ... for the most part I think we finally put the garden to bed for the winter .. a process of raking up stray leaves on the lawn areas, BUT leaving leaves on my borders (sounds like the lyrics to a song there some how ?) .. my potting table is a bit embarrassing though .. I really should have done a better job with that bad boy section ;-) .. anyone else out there feeling the same kind of guilt ? Come on ???
Now I can mull over garden plants from a safe distance .. meaning I'm not DRIVEN to actually do physical work .. just a few mental sparks to manage some posts ?
Mind you I did say FEW ?

Salvia officinalis covers a broad spectrum of these amazing herbal plants.
I can not imagine my garden without a few varieties .. perennial or annual ones .
A little off track is a quick comment on Pineapple Sage .. I just can't help it .. you HAVE to try it, to know that it truly does smell like pineapple !!
I still can't get over that .. and it grows LARGE .. a great filler plant that takes sun and dry soil .. so keep that under your hat for when you are stuck for such a plant : )
I find all sages pretty .. But I have a weak spot for Golden Sage or Salvia officinalis icterina and Purple Sage or salvia officinalis 'Purpurescens' .. and I keep mixing them together .. I'm sure it is part of a master plan but right now I am hovering over the "lets just mix them up for now" part?
Now how intriguing is the texture I ask you ! .. all goose-pimply right ?
Cat people ... does this remind you of your feline's tongue by any chance ;-)
The colour variation and pattern ..
Now here comes the purple foil to the gold : )
It has its own variation with mixing the greenish tones with the purple.
Look at them almost holding hands ? ;-)
Throw in some dried up leaves from my trees and you have a more neutral foil to show off their gorgeous colours : )

In and out of focus ... each one showing off a bit more than the other !
So if you think that sages are boring .. or only for a kitchen garden ... think AGAIN !!

Even with the hard frosts we have had the sages win hands down for looking beautiful against the odds ! Now make a note for next year and plants some SAGES !!!! ... P.S. have a look at this site that lists so many different sages .. Ornamental Salvia


Gail said...

...and it tastes delicious as browned sage butter! Joy, there was the most delightful sunset tonight...all red, I thought how much you would have loved it. gail

Carrie said...

Oh my goodness sages (the way you do them!) are utterly gorgeous. I'm gathering up ideas for our new garden, once we finally get a new house (trying to remain hopeful there...) Thanks for the beautiful colour photos I diffenately think I have fallen in love and Pineapple smelling ones, wow!!!!

To be brutally honest I haven't even been in the garden for weeks but I am working hard on the lottie and plenty of putting things to sleep and gathering up leaves xxx

Must chat soon x

James said...

You had some really nice sage in your garden. Really enjoyed your post.

Victoria said...

Beautiful of my most favorite plants...I am sage crazed in my garden..your photos were lovely at demonstrating all the different colors and textures I love so much! awesome!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I do love these sages too. I have some growing in my herb garden and I plant them mostly for looks because I never remember to use them for cooking. I do like how the two of yours look together.

Deborah Elliott said...

Hi there, I enjoyed your great blog. I live in Alabama, in the southeast USA, with very hot, humid summers and mild, flighty winters. I, too, like sages, and they do well in my garden. It is neat to see they adapt well to different climates. I also love lavender. I have one growing in a raised bed and I am anxious to see if it will survive another year. Unfortunately, my lavenders have all had short life spans, but I love the smell so well, I keep trying.
Your cats are cute. Thanks for sharing - Deborah Elliott

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the way those colours all grow together! It looks like a lovely canvas of pastels. :) I hope you had a wonderful Halloween, Joy -- I'll have to look up your Oct 31 post that I somehow missed. :)

gittan said...

Good morning Joy, I love the smell of sage. Your post made me remember that time I was working at the nursery and we got a load of different sages. Me and Emma stod there and smelled, tasted and our mindes were lost to some other place. That Pineapple sage.. and the mint sage and the... ther's no end of the goddies =) And in my garden I haven├Ąt got a single one!!! Can you believe that! WHY? There's some for next year I think / gittan

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Gail girl (I am still waiting for a glorious red sun rise here myself .. ah, but to see a gorgeous sunset like yours would be wonderful !!) Sage butter is something I haven't tried yet .. but I know it has to be great !! : )

Carrie girl ! I am very behind in e-mail .. things are a bit pushed here right now .. but I will eventually get back to almost normal? haha
YES ! Pineapple sage is a must because you will be amazed : )
There are things I could be doing too to make it a bit neater (aka potting table .. eeuuuwww !!) GUILT

Thank you so much James : ) Herbs seem to bring out the best , in the best people ? LOL

Kiki aren't they fascinating herbs ? it makes me smile every time I look at them I think of my cats and their impossibly rough tongues ? haha .. the sage family is so diversified it is amazing : )

Hello Cathrine .. I didn't think I would be able to over winter them .. but they surprise me nicely : ) I have a little book called the Herb Bible and it is a wonderful reference book with beautiful illustrations .. I MUST have herbs in my garden or it just wouldn't be a garden ! : )

Hello there Deborah ! Thanks for stopping by : ) I can't imagine living in such a climate zone .. we do have hot humid summers here too but much shorter than yours and I can understand a lot of plants are touchy in that environment. I'm curious to know what type of lavender you have ? But YES !! that fragrance makes it a garden : )

Nancy girl .. My Halloween was a bit off .. there was such a swing in weather fronts it really had impact on me with pain levels .. husband did door duty and I tried to hear the kids from bed .. I hate having it flop like that but I know you understand what the pain can do to you :(

gittan girl that is such a cute story of you two having a "sage party" in the nursery !! LOL
But it does do that to you : ) you can get totally lost in it because it is so enjoyable !
I will be constantly reminding YOU to have SAGES in your garden next year girl !! I MEAN IT !! LOL

our friend Ben said...

Oh, no, Joy! You simply HAVE to try sage leaves in browned butter over ravioli (either plain cheese or pumpkin or mushroom ravioli); it's so beyond fantastic! I have the gorgeous gold-variegated sage in my herb bed this year and will see if it makes it through the winter outdoors; my plain culinary sage always does. Seeing your marvelous photos makes me want to add purple-leafed sage next year, too. (I'd always resisted this one because, gorgeous as it is, it never smelled good to me; guess I should give it another chance.) And I couldn't survive without pineapple sage! Thank goodness it's easy to overwinter in the greenhouse. It and fruit-scented sage (which should probably be renamed "fruit cocktail sage" or "fruit salad sage") are my very favorites!

Northern Beauty Seeker said...

I love the soft, subtle purples mixed with the greens.

And you are right about them looking like cat's tongues! :)

CanadianGardenJoy said...

'ben' you are very naughty for making me lust after this perfect food you have described ! Shame on you !! LOL
The amazing varieties of herbs in general is overwhelming but so fascinating I have always been in love with them all and I so envy you having a green house .. you are very lucky indeed ! ;-)

Hello Ms. S. and thank you very much : ) sage is so photogenic you can't take a bad picture of them .. and they do remind me of my cats licking with that rough rough tongue ! haha

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Have you ever heard of a wild variety called Woman Sage? It has an incredible fragrance though nothing tops the pineapple. :)

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hey there Kate !
No that one I have not heard of yet (I'll be looking now, haha) But the site I have at the end of the post lists 23 different ones including Maraschino cherry, Grape, Watermelon and get this ... Transylvanian .. now wouldn't Edward Gory love THAT ?? LOL

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

I most definitely need some Transylvanian sage. Imagine the spooky recipes we could concoct!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Kate if I can find any of that I would surely have it in my garden and with a sign by it saying "BEWARE !!" hahaha

Rose said...

I am a sage lover, too, Joy, and I'll second your motion on planting pineapple sage. This year was the first for it in my garden, but it certainly won't be the last. It's a great plant and since it blooms so late perfect for some fall color when everything else is winding down. And oh yes, it does smell heavenly! Great close-ups of the leaves of sage.

Good for you for getting the fall clean-up done! I'm on hold until after Thanksgiving; let's hope I still have time then to get everything done:)

garden girl said...

They are beautiful Joy. I love the smell of sages too. There are so many herbs that are beautiful and fragrant in ornamental gardens. I haven't tried sages here with so little sun. There are other herbs growing happily here though, so maybe sage will be the next herb added to our shade garden.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Rose girl ! We have had the most remarkable weather this past week .. the weather that we should have had for October in fact .. one of those weird weather moments ? LOL
YES !! Pineapple sage is remarkable and you have to have lemon verbena too .. that is if my brain is working tonight .. it smells just like the old fashioned hard lemon candies .. I love it !
If I had the room I would have a totally separate herb garden with as many different kinds as possible, I love herbs so much !
Well .. I could have done much better with cleaning my potting table and tools up better (guilt guilt ?? LOL) so that is nagging at me .. but at some point you have to give up and say I can do that come Spring ?? haha
Hey .. you have lots of time yet : ) .. I bet you are looking forward to Thanksgiving and all the fun with cooking with your goodies ? : )

Linda .. you can always give it a try with the sages .. if you have other herbs growing , I bet there is a sage that will be happy in our garden too !
I absolutely love the smell when I start jarring rosemary after drying it .. all herbs have some wonderful quality that comforts us in some way .. a basic natural instinct of some kind I'm sure of it ! I can't imagine a garden of mine without them : )

Pat said...

Pineapple sage does smell great.
My sages except for them still look hardy...go figure.
Love your comment "I'm not DRIVEN to actually do physical work "...oh. I can so relate to that !!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Patsi girl , great minds think alike ? LOL I have had a few back problems along with other things and lord .. I have to kick myself to get back to actually doing something ?? LOL
I do love pineapple sage .. it is amazing .. all herbs amaze me .. do you have lemon verbena ? it doesn't look exceptional but the smell is out of this world ! : )

tina said...

You've highlighted sages perfectly. I like them too. This year was the first time my culinary sage bloomed and I was smitten. But, guess what happened after it bloomed? Poor thing died and I was helpless to stop it. I could not get over the wonder white bud then large blue flowers that came from it. I definitely agree with you on pineapple sage. It is easy to winter over in an unheated garage too (staying above 40 degrees or so). You have a great day Joy!

Cheryl said...

I love sage and grow them in the garden along with other herbs. They are an underated plant. The blooms are beautiful and much loved by bees...
Pineapple sage, I have read about it, but never grown to put on my list.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Tina girl .. I had an idea that it might suffer "bloom death" too so I kept pinching back the blooms but I missed seeing that gorgeous flower you saw .. what a strange thing eh ? YES !! I am totally smitten by pineapple sage .. it can grow HUGE but that scent is totally amazing : ) i wish I had a garage to over winter it but it is usually available each spring and I grab a few of the plants along with many herbs (I'm addicted ! LOL)

Cheryl you are so right about the under rating of such wonderful herb plants . I just don't know what it is that makes so many gardeners hesitant to have them mixed with their other plants.
You have to try pineapple sage girl !! I promise you will be astounded with the scent ! : )

Kerri said...

I couldn't agree more! Aren't they the most delightful plants? I love the way you've mixed them together and your photos are beautiful.
I potted up my tricolored sage (which was in a container with purple flowers...gorgeous!), and am going to try to overwinter it. Have you ever done that? I left it outside in the garden last year but it didn't survive.
I hope I can find more to try next summer. And the pineapple...must try that one!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Kerri girl : ) Sages are such remarkable plants .. I have been lucky with mine and they do overwinter in the garden so far (3 years now) along with golden oregano and lemon thyme (thyme is so hardy too !) .. having them mixed in pots for the deck is too easy, they are so forgiving with the watering bit ? LOL
Pineapple sage is going to knock your socks off with the scent !! I was shocked how much it smells like pineapple : ) You have to have it for next year .. I WILL remind YOU girl !! haha