This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Life After Lawn” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and ideal for drought-tolerant landscapes.
Compact common sage
Salvia officinalis “Berggarten”
Size: Up to 2 feet tall and wide at maturity.
Bloom season: Blue-purple flowers in late spring and early summer.
Exposure: Full sun.
Pruning needs: Prune to shape in late winter or early spring.
Water needs: Low; once established, water deeply once a month.
Snapshot: This popular edible sage could be the water monitor for a drought-tolerant garden. It can’t stand too much irrigation. But under low-water conditions, it flourishes, providing interesting color contrast, fragrance and texture as well as savory seasoning. This variety features fuzzy, pewter-colored, rounded, broad foliage, which forms an attractive, symmetrical gray “dome.” It’s particularly pretty edging the front of a garden border, where it can be seen and smelled. In spring and summer, blue-purple flower spikes tempt bees and beneficial insects.
For more on “Life After Lawn,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.