Russian Sage in the Garden

What a difference three years makes in the life of a plant. Welcome to my front sidewalk garden at the beginning of July. You will notice right off the bat several flowering perennials on the left side of the sidewalk that could use a little pruning. The Russian sages (Perovskia atriplicifolia) are towering over the walkway.

In retrospect this probably isn’t the best location for these large perennials, but I really like them! They attract all sorts of pollinators and their lavender colored flower spires last well into fall. Even when the foliage drops off Russian sage still stands out in the garden with ghostly white stems reaching toward the sky. And besides all that they are just plain cool! I suppose after this season I will revamp the front sidewalk garden and move my Russians to another location. Any suggestions? I already have several new Russian sage plants growing in other places from propagation through hardwood and softwood cuttings, should I start a new garden?

The deer don’t like Russian sage and neither do the rabbits due to the fragrance of the leaves which makes it priceless in my landscape. Although Russian sage is not a true sage and shouldn’t be eaten it does have a really interesting scent.

Aren’t summer blooming perennials great! What is your favorite July bloomer?

12 Replies to “Russian Sage in the Garden”

  1. What about around the veggie garden if it isn't liked by deer or rabbits!!! I need to put it on my wish list. I think it's pretty.
    I don't think I have a favorite. I like them all.

  2. Love the Russian Sage and of course you should start a new garden 🙂
    My favorite July bloomer is probably echinacea, but I'm sure I'll think of more as the month progresses.

  3. Duh! Of course you start a new garden and knowing you it will be finished in 48 hours or less..LOL Your sidewalk does look pretty…

  4. Dave I too am such a fan of Russian Sage .. I have large ones in two different areas of my garden .. and the little one under the grape arbor .. which of course I have to move because it doesn't get enough sun now that the vine is heavy with leaves finally .. grapes to follow of course ? LOL
    I think a garden dedicated to the sage would be great .. with a few "foil" plants to contrast ? .. perfect !

  5. Your Russian sage is just letting you know it's most happy there! Mine suffer here since we don't have full sun. You'll find a good spot for it I'm sure.

  6. I love my russian sage. And I love yours along the walkway. I say they are great mixed in foundation plantings, Because you'll see the hummingbirds everyday when they come to feed.

  7. I am also a fan of Russian Sage. It's light and airy and adds a special depth to the garden. (I purchased a half-round garden stake (2 legs) to help keep it standing in line.) I doubt this would work for you as it would probably be too visible. Mine is hidden by the surrounding plants.

  8. I love the Russian sage. Very pretty. And although I'm sure it can be annoying, I like the overgrown look on your pathway. It looks so lush, full and alive.

    Btw, I really like your new header picture.

  9. Hi Dave, those are magnificent! I would put them all together for a big impact someplace, maybe your view from a deck or window? For the walkway, dwarf evergreens for year around interest, with some nice grasses or carex for textural interest. My favorite July flower, phlox!

  10. Lola,

    That's a good idea, surround the vegetable garden with Russians! I have some cuttings rooting so maybe I'll go ahead and pop them in somewhere over there.


    Echinaceas are great too! Ours are seeing some of the best blooms yet this year.


    It is very happy there isn't it! Of course one Russian sage we had along the sidewalk passed away for unknown reasons. It's pretty odd for one to just die like that.


    Ours have been staying fairly upright but I have had to trim off some branches due to severe floppiness. The stakes are a good idea but you're right they are a little too close to the walkway and would be easily seen.


    I suppose we are going for the cottage garden look. I've always admired the photos of houses lush with plantings. As a side benefit you need less mulch since the soil stays cooler due to the foliage. I'm glad you liked the header. It's from the rudbeckia in the self-sowing garden.


    I was thinking similar thoughts! Some sort of dwarf evergreens would be neat along with maybe feather reed grass. I could underplant both with 'Purple Homestead' Verbena and the existing 'Silver Mound' artemisia. Hmm.. ideas ideas! Phlox is very cool. I need to see how Gail's phlox is doing out back.

  11. Can't you just make the space their wider and move them back away from the walk a bit? Maybe you can just give them more room…they do get big. I don't have any but maybe sometime.

  12. The Russian Sage looks great! Personally, I like the edges of the path covered, it looks more natural.

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