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Salvias That Won’t Let You Down

Fleeting blooms and unruly habits are a thing of the past with these selections

Fine Gardening - Issue 169

I’m lucky to live in Chicago—maybe not in February when we’re buried in snow, but in spring, it’s a different story. One of my favorite spots in the city is the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park (if you’ve been to Chicago in recent years, you’ve likely visited), a delightful place of imaginative plant combinations in ever-changing patterns. In late spring and early summer, blue waves of hardy salvias flow like a mighty river from north to south through the entire garden—a singular sight that always elicits an awed gasp. The magnitude and richness of this sapphire and amethyst tapestry is not to be missed.

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for salvias—I’ve long coveted the tender ones that won’t make it through a Chicago winter, all the while cherishing the hearty selection of hardy ones that will. Unfortunately, since salvia has a bad…

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