Welcome to the Mint Family Garden

Salvias and other members of the mint family (Lamiaceae) need excellent drainage, so they love the aeration as well as the nutrients that lots of compost and mineral matter add to soil. Some of these plants, such as species from the Southwest, Northern Mexico and Mediterranean countries, thrive in rocky soil. But few survive overwatering.

Sometimes it's so difficult coming up with a title that draws together most of the links in a single issue of Salvia Guru. So although late summer gardening has been a rockin' good time in some parts of the nation, it's been a watery mess in places such as Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where wildlife gardeners likely will need to replace much of their landscaping after they finish struggling to rehabilitate or rebuild homes. Our hearts go out to them.

Consequently, this issue swings from how to recover when you receive too much of a good thing (water) and how to value what too many people fail to realize is essential for soil health (rocks). The Salvia relative pictured here is an ornamental oregano (Origanum 'Kent Beauty'). It was a baby in my dry rock garden when I took the photo that appears with the "Stones are Rock Stars" link. You can see it against the chain link fence, its mint green foliage, tiny lavender flowers and cream-to-pink bracts just beginning to form. It is a rock star this summer.

One link here takes you to the website of Salvia lover and seed saver Emily Murphy. Others cover topics ranging from a garden that detects air pollution to plants that double as butterfly and hummingbird favorites. You'll meet Nancy L. Newfield's hummingbird banding "krewe" and visit gardens in the Deep South and the UK. We also need to announce that you can find one of our favorite Flowers by the Sea hybrids -- VIBE® Salvia Ignition Purple Salvia -- as a Monrovia introduction at garden centers nationwide in 2017.

Salvia Guru and FBTS, which publishes this newsletter, wish you good reading and great gardening. See you with the next issue in a month. Meanwhile, please share information about free subscription with gardening friends.

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