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Flowering Wisdom

Last year, I planted sage. This year, the sage is blooming, and to great visual effect. Each individual sage flower isn’t even a half an inch long. Taken all together, in a large stand, the color can be seen from a good distance away. The effect wouldn’t have been much with a single plant. Instead, I planted a good ten plants together, each with enough room to grow. I think I’ll plant more this year.

There are many kinds of sage, of course, each with its own properties. I’m talking about plain old ordinary, non-variegated, common sage, Salvia officinalis.

Sage means wisdom. The wisdom of planting sage is that it’s an easy-to-grow addition to the garden that has culinary, cosmetic and medicinal uses.

Salvia suggests the use of the plant as a salve, a balm to deal with wounds and infirmities. It is said, though I don’t know if it is true, that sage laid upon a cut speeds its healing.

The wisdom I’m hoping for is that the sage will prove to be a useful replacement for a grass lawn. It requires no burning of gasoline for mowing. It only needs to be renewed, through cuttings taken from old plants, and stuck in soil that remains moist, to become new, young plants. Otherwise, sage plants do become a bit sparse. One easy option is to use clothespins or wire to hold down woody branches under half an inch of soil after two years of growth. Wherever the branches are held under moist soil, they will grow roots and behave as new, vigorous plants.

1 comment to Flowering Wisdom

  • Gordon Balfour-Haynes

    I grow herb lawns, too: sage, pennyroyal, chamomile … to minimise mowing.

    However, I use a a 40-year-old manual cylinder mower (no engine / motor) for their twice-yearly trim. It’s good wholesome exercise and burns no fossil fuels.

    Ditch that powered mower: it’s for wimps. (The petrol-engined rotary mower is an invention of my country, Australia.)

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