WHEN MUCH OF THE GARDEN is spent, autumn-blooming perennial sages come to the rescue with showy flowers and lush foliage reminiscent of spring’s glory days. “Santa Anas or dropping temperatures don’t bother them,” says Liz Youngflesh, who grows more than a dozen at her Vista nursery, Garden Glories. Here are six of her favorites.
• Waverly Sage (Salvia ‘Waverly’): Showy purple buds open as pink-blushed lavender flowers on this 3 ½ foot tall and wide handsome plant. Full sun. Deadhead to prolong bloom.
• Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans): Long-stemmed red flowers complement the fall garden’s golds and rusts. Lush look and sweet pineapple scent of its crushed leaves suit tropical landscapes, too. Four feet tall and wide. Cut back after bloom ends.
• Chiapas Sage (Salvia chiapensis): Shiny ivy-green leaves and velvety fuchsia flowers sparkle on a 30-inch tall and wide Mexico native that looks good in all seasons. Repeat blooms.
• Anthony Parker Sage (Salvia ‘Anthony Parker’): Tall lush hybrid is a prolific bloomer with slender wands of inky violet-blue flowers. Vigorous growth to 3 feet or more tall and wide. Deadhead and prune to shape.
• Purple Majesty Sage (Salvia ‘Purple Majesty’): Velvety purple blooms on long flower spikes rise above textured yellow-green leaves. Three feet tall and 2 feet wide. Provide afternoon shade in inland gardens.
• Salvia cacaliifolia: Another Mexican native prized for its gentian-blue flowers and grass-green triangular foliage. Grows to 3 feet tall with slightly sprawling habit. Deadhead to get more blooms.
Photo Caption: Salvia 'Purple Majesty'
Garden Planner: By Mary James