Monday, November 24, 2014

A Season for Sage

Sage is my favorite garden perennial. I have 4 or 5 or them--Salvia officinalis-- among the asters, coneflowers, daylilies, phloxes, astilbes, grasses, and other plantings. The sages remain vibrant into late fall. The annuals have withered and most of the perennials have gone to seed, although their pods and cones add character to the garden in the colder, gray days of November and through winter. I used to cut the perennials to the ground as part of fall clean-up, but my friend and landscaper Patty Laughlin at Lorax Landscaping, says let it all be. It's good for the plants and the animals. So now I enjoy the perennial beds year-round, and especially in fall before the snow covers it all in white.
Milkweed pods open and spread their seeds to the wind,
carried aloft by a tuft of silky hairs.

A spent coneflower, dry and faded, offers seeds to birds.

Tall switchgrass provides a lush and attractive backdrop to the garden and woodland edge.

A daylily seed pod--split open to release its seeds--adds character to the late fall garden.

And then there is the bright and fresh sage, with its gray-green, pebbly leaves.

Tis the season for sage, the small leaves to be gathered and chopped and added to the turkey stuffing at Thanksgiving. It is so delicious and essential to stuffing, I wonder why I don't use it year-round in other dishes. Maybe 2015 will be the year to explore sage in more detail. For now, it is one of the four essential herbs--parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (for those Simon & Garfunkel fans)--that are a must for any kitchen garden.

1 comment:

  1. The late fall garden in all its splendor! We recently had a White-throated Sparrow in our backyard garden, a common bird but one we only get once or twice a year in our yard. His subtle markings were a perfect complement to our own late fall garden.