As CHM mentioned in a comment a couple of days ago, these sage plants with such tall flower spikes are ones that have grown from a plant his friend Marthe gave me a while back. The plant is obviously very hardy, tolerating both overly wet and overly dry weather, no matter what kind of soil they are planted in. A few years ago, Walt decided to plant it around the decorative well in our back yard.
These are photos I've taken over the past two or three days. I also have transplanted some seedlings in a couple of planter boxes. Clary sage seems to re-seed abundantly. We have other sage growing in the back yard — the kind you can cook with and that is really good with poultry. I haven't read anything about culinary uses of clary sage, but its essential oil has been used since ancient times. Here's a web page about clary. And a Wikipedia page, which mentions that clary is grown commercially in northeastern North Carolina.
The surprising thing to me is how long this sage variety has been growing here. The years are just flying by. Here's a photo I took of a clary sage flower in June 2010 — ten years ago! Can that be true? That means Marthe gave me the first plant or plants in 2009. Marthe, with her late husband Pierre, lived (and maybe still lives) in a town about two hours north of Saint-Aignan and and hour south of Paris. She had and I hope still has a huge and beautiful garden full of magnificent flowers in springtime and early summer. I blogged about it in 2006. And look at these from 2015.
I am fascinated by this plant particularly by the fact that it’s stem is perfectly square. How unusual! Because of its hairy leaves and rough texture, it should be deer resistant, another good feature of clary sage. Thanks for including your old posts on Marthe’s garden, very enjoyable.ReplyDelete
Your sage is happy near the well. I enjoyed looking back at links to Marthe's garden. We live near Birmingham's Botanical garden and they are finally reopening on the 15th. Our yards are benefitting from the pandemic it seems.ReplyDelete
I have always loved the look of Clary sage ever since I first saw it, probably in the 1970s. Yours looks great. I don't think it has any culinary uses.ReplyDelete
I like the last photo of a clary sage growing next to a artichoke.ReplyDelete
It's a beautiful plant and looks very showy from a distance. I never knew of this variety, just the salvia and the red salvia that is so ubiquitous in northeast US gardens. I guess deer don't eat it. Marthe's gardens are truly remarkable. Over the years I've found gardeners are generally kind people.ReplyDelete
Marthe was already in her 70s / 80s when I went with CHM to see her and Pierre between 2006 and 2015. The last time I saw them was in 2016 in Paris, when CHM and I had dinner with them in bistro in his neighborhood. Sadly, Pierre passed away a year or so ago. I don't know if Marthe still lives in the same house and continues gardening. Maybe CHM knows...Delete
I haven't been in touch with Marthe since last October. When I talked to her last, she was still gardening. She must be in her late eighties.Delete