2019 Year of Salvia nemorosa
Invite hummingbirds and bees to the garden by planting a few hardy salvias.
The National Garden Bureau has declared 2019 The Year of Salvia nemorosa.
Grow salvia in full or half-day sun and rich organic soil. Add compost to clay and sandy soil for best results. Once established Salvia nemorosa is fairly drought tolerant.
Extend salvias bloom time with regular pruning. After the first flush of flowers have faded and stems turned brown, cut the plants back to about one third. In four to six weeks new flowers will appear. Repeat for a third flush of blooms.
Consider growing May Night salvia with indigo blue flowers and good pest and disease resistance. Another option is the upright dark stemmed Caradonna that is more tolerant of heavier clay soils and consider some of the new compact varieties.
A bit more information: Salvia nemorosa is a less aggressive member of the mint family and an ornamental relative of the herb sage. Here are a few new varieties to consider: April Night (an earlier blooming variety), New Dimension, Bordeaux, Swifty and Salute bred for improved performance and the compact Blue Bouquetta and Blue Marvel.