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Salvia - An Old Sage

salvia 009-230x347The salvias include 700 species of annual, biennial and perennial herbs and shrubs of the mint family. They come from tropical and temperate regions throughout the world. Their aromatic foliage and bright flowers in a rainbow of shades have been cherished since ancient times.

Salvia officinalis, the garden sage, is a famous culinary herb with very fragrant flowers considered sacred by ancient Romans. The name salvia is Latin for “healthy” as some species were used medicinally to increase longevity and in the digestion of fatty foods.

Chinese so valued the herb that during the 17th Century Dutch traders could trade a single chest of sage leaves for three of high quality tea! Bees transform sweet salvia nectar into a high quality honey with a distinctive flavour and medicinal values.

Today most species are grown for colourful, hardy, low maintenance ornamentation. The many hybrids of S. splendens make excellent bedding, border and container plants. Bonfire is the best known species now available in purple, pink, white, orange, yellow as well as glowing red shades.

S. elegans, Pineapple Sage, has red spikes and aromatic foliage with a pineapple scent. For exquisite blue shades try Bog Sage, S. ulinginosa, S. patens (Gentian Sage), S. farinacea (Mealy Cup Sage), and S. leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage). Rosy Leaf Sage has pink flowers like penstemon. S. Madrensis produces giant yellow spikes.

Salvias prefer light, dry, well-drained, alkaline soils in full sun to part shade. Poor, drier soils produce better plants than overly rich, wet soils. Cut back stems after flowering. Replace plants every few years. Seed, cuttings and root divisions can be started now.

Sachets of dried leaves, especially pineapple and garden sage, discourage insects in the linen closet. When burned over embers or steamed they create a natural room deodorant which is antiseptic and antifungal.

Most species create fast growing, hardy hedges and are valuable in borders and between shrubs or near pathways for fragrance and colour almost all year, but especially late summer and autumn.

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About us

dale-john 01-100x66 Dale Harvey and John Newton met in Melbourne Australia in 1981. Since then they both have supported each others careers while also building and maintaining their own. Read about how they were able to turn their joint careers into one and creating a dream of a better world starting in their own local community.

Media & Publications

host daffodils-100x66The following articles are a small part of the many published editorials on or about both Dale Harvey and John Newton plus the property affectionately nick named by the people of New Zealand, as the
"Quarter Acre” Paradise gardens.

Awards & Credits

HOPE Trust-100x66This is a collection of Appreciation Certificates, Local and Overseas Awards with Acknowledgments presented to Dale Harvey and John Newton over the many years of their joint careers plus the Launch and Registration
of The H.O.P.E. Trust
The Healing of Planet Earth.

Contact Us

P.O.Box Papatoetoe Central
2156 Auckland
New Zealand
Tel: +61 9 276 4827
Fax: +61 9 276 4025
Email: info@daleharvey.com 
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