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.