Saturday, May 31, 2014

What Blooms in My Paso Robles Garden at the End Of May: Herbs

Herbs are an important part of my garden plan. They feed the bees and butterflies, and they also contribute color to supplement that provided by the flowers. Many of the herbs, including the borage and the hyssop, are pictured mixed with the flowers in my previous post,  What Blooms in My Paso Robles Garden at the End of May: Flowers. Pictured at the left is Spanish sage, surrounded by star jasmine. I planted the Spanish sage last year about this time. 

I divided the santolina you see below from a plant I have in Templeton. I love the yellow color, but the Templeton mother plant sprawls. I had this in a pot, so I moved it pot and all into my flower bed closest to the house, near the back. The gray foliage contrasts well with the green leaves of other plants and the yellow of its own button flowers. 

A plant that was new to me last year was salvia microphylla, also known as wild watermelon sage. It is drought-resistant. I expect it will continue to spread and grow taller, as I intended. I am trying to fill my dry side yard with larger shrubby herbs that will spread to choke out weeds while providing color during every season. Below is my watermelon sage. The blossoms are small, but they do contribute color.

Many sages seem to bloom at this time of year. My common sage is blooming in Templeton, but I haven't planted any of it here in Paso Robles. I did divide my black sage plant there and I planted the division in my side bed here. The mother plant is huge -- about six feet tall and just as wide in all directions. So far it's still small here. I plan to keep it under control. It is not especially colorful with its tiny whorls of pale lavender flowers, but it's always covered with bees when in bloom. See the flowers below.

Black Sage on May 27

I planted the red velvet yarrow below in a pot to keep it from spreading, since I've heard it can be invasive. I think it's outgrowing the pot, though, and it's getting leggy.  I think in fall I will divide it and plant it near the tansy in the front corner of the side yard. It does well under dry conditions. 

Red Velvet Yarrow in Pot

As I write this, my monarda and clary sage have buds and will soon be in bloom. I will be sharing those photos soon.

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