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Salvia Guru Heads South to the Sages of Texas

As much of the nation begins autumn cleanup, much of Texas is warm enough to continue planting and blooming. In some areas, Texas natives -- such as Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) and Mealy Cup Sage (S. farinacea) -- are evergreen for much of the year.

Flowers by the Sea, our Northern California farm and online nursery that publishes Salvia Guru, sells plants nationwide and has many customers in Texas. The state is home to a number of the most popular American native sages that FBTS grows.

Geographically, Texas is huge, as Texas Monthly demonstrated last January by using a software called MAPfrappe to superimpose the state's outline on various parts of the world. Place the boundaries just right, the magazine said, and "Paris, Prague, Milan, Amsterdam, Brussels, Munich, and Florence could all be little bits of Texas, in an alternate reality."

So we decided on a supersized serving of Texas for this issue of Salvia Guru. It contains links about improving clay soils, a hummingbird live cam, native salvias, sages for four seasons and the federal government's new "pollinator highway" planting project that cruises I-35 from Texas north to Minnesota.

The plant pictured here, Art's Blue Mealy Cup Sage, has a story to tell if you follow this link: http://www.fbts.com/salvia-farinacea-arts-blue.html. But the tale of its S. farinacea relatives known as the Duelbergs ("People and Plants" section) possesses otherworldly drama that makes it especially appropriate for October.

If you live in Texas, please help us get this issue galloping all around the state and to expatriates who long for home. If you are a friendly outsider who's fixin' to lasso a bag of expanded shale at your local garden center for some Texas-style soil amendment, then yeehaw! It might could be y'all be as happy as a gopher in soft dirt. And if you live far from Texas but have more than one of its native beauties brightening a dry garden, spread the word.

While you're at it, tell all the gardeners you know about getting a free subscription to Salvia Guru. Please keep us growing.

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