hydrangea and the old fashioned crocosmia make for
an extraordinary orange and white partnership.
great purple hairstreak, one of the most beautiful
butterflies in the United States, created quite a stir
as he feasted on the nectar-rich sky-blue flowers of the
bog sage. This sage, the tallest plant in our new
pollinator gardens, at the Coastal Georgia Botanical
Gardens, is doing their part in bringing in visitors,
those that fly and those that drive.
day I watch visitors with cameras, many with tripods,
setting up near these two gardens. It truly seems the
hosts of bees, wasps, butterflies and hummingbirds are
providing buzzing safari-like moments.
never really know what will be flying in, and it seems
to change by the minute. Itís not just the bees,
wasps, butterflies and hummingbirds flying around but
also their predators, the dragonfly.
many dragonflies are in these gardens it helps to have a
pocket guide for ID. But their predators are there, too.
The ones most talked about are the Mississippi Kites
that come swooping down at warp speed only to leave
dragonfly wings fluttering in the air. A couple of times
I have hysterically done a duck and cover as the kites
swooshed by me.
garden becomes pure enjoyment when you choose to grow a
great pollinator plant like the bog sage. More would
experience this no doubt if it had a different name. You
see, you donít have to have a bog, just fertile well
drained soil with plenty of sun. Unfortunately the bog
sage has a botanical name that isnít any better:
Salvia uliginosa. At first look you might think Salvia
ugly-a-nosa, but it is really Salvia u-lig-a-nosa.
bog sage is native to the South American countries of
Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina and will look at home in
your garden. It is a cold hardy perennial in zones 6-10
and a worthy annual in colder areas.
of the taller salvias for the garden, the bog sage can
reach 6 to 7 feet and produces rare, sky-blue flowers.
Though it is in full bloom now, it will keep up this
flower production until frost. Despite the name that
makes it sound like it will grow in water, you should
plant in well-drained, fertile soil.
preparing the soil, incorporate 2 pounds of a
slow-release, 12-6-6 fertilizer per 100 square feet of
planting area. Youíll want to space these plants 20 to
42 inches apart and place them to the back of the
border. Our pollinator beds are actually islands, so we
have them in the middle and then layered shorter plants
bog sage is as much at home in an old-fashioned cottage
garden in front of a white picket fence draped with
David Austin English roses, as it is the backyard
wildlife habitat. We have ours partnered with Blue
Fortune agastache, Silky Gold asclepias, fall blooming
senna and splashes of chartreuse from Wasabi coleus and
Gold Mound duranta.
let the name throw you ó this is an outstanding
perennial. Because finding the bog sage likely will take
some searching on your part, make the hunting really pay
off by looking for other great plants with troubling
names like Joe Pye weed, Swamp Milkweed, and Rattlesnake