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Tricolor sage

Tri Color Sage is good for growing outside in zones 6 to 9. This is excellent because that is what my other sage is like and it has grown into a monster. I am hoping that these sage plants will do the same. In fact, I confess that the only reason I got many different types of sage is because…

  • My current sage is doing phenomenal. Literally it’s getting much bigger than I anticipated. Sage seems to do very well in zone 8a and that is what I am looking for. The reason that I placed it in between the trees that I did is because I hope that it will continue to bush out like the regular sage and if it does- I’m ready and excited.
  • I enjoy cooking with sage and although the articles tell me that they taste pretty much the same- I’ll be the judge of that. People said that the different kind of basils didn’t have much of a flavor different but that isn’t true with basils or mints. I just don’t understand how it would be that way with sages. Ignore the fact that they’re the same latin name just with ‘Tricolor’ slapped on the end. Salvia officinalis ‘Tricolor’
  • This herb is drought tolerant. If I can get it established I believe that I will eventually be able to leave this herb to natural growth instead of having to water it regularly. That is my end game goal.
  • They smell amazing. Some people don’t think so but I disagree. If I put a lot of fragrant plants around my trees I figure I will draw in pollinators.

This plant can grow in anything. Drought and heat tolerant, which goes well with our Texas heat. I want to know if the purple leaves taste differently than the green leaves. I want to know if this plant will have large leaves like my normal average garden sage plant. I can’t wait until this herb has grown big and out because it’s not just a fantastic herb but also attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and other positive pollinators.

Something I have learned in my economic entomology class that by attracting positive pollinators they will naturally take care of other not so fun insects that I am not friends with. Attracting birds might seem like a bad idea, but they are amazing pollinators and control insects naturally. I am hoping that by planting more sage and an abundance of food plants that I will end up with an abundance of fruit.

I am not sure how this will work, but I have realized that there seems to be more than enough around that the birds haven’t bothered our strawberries yet. We’re waiting for that.

Tri Color Sage, like many other sages, is deer resistant. A lot of people look for that in plants. When I realize that I am planting so many plants that don’t attract deer I know that I have to plant other plants- just in case a deer does happen upon my forest I don’t want them to be the only animal not eat.

Now, after doing some research I have read that this sage is not quite as hardy as it’s close relative. It still states the same things but seems to require at least four hours of direct sunlight a day. If it fails to meet it’s natural sunshine requirements then Tri Color Sage seems to droop and die. I don’t think that will be a problem here, but who knows you might want to look into a new way to do it.

Remember that sage is a perennial, evergreen herb that grows in our zone. I don’t think that it will have any trouble as long as it gets adequate sunlight.

Sage is well known for warding off evil and Tri Color is no different. Some medical research suggests that sage can be beneficial for memory, which sounds good to me. Back in the olden times they used to use it for snake bites. I’m not saying use it for snake bites, I’m just saying the history of sage is really amazing and you should personally look into it.

I planted more of these than the others because I think they are prettier. I also found that most of the information out there is a duplication. The facts are regurgitated from one source to another. One post says that sage does not attract ants, in fact it deters them. I hope to find out that this is a scientific fact.

This plant has high amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A. Tri Color Sage, like all sages, are great for digestion, have an astringent quality about them and are also anti-septic. That is more than enough reason to add it, but I can’t help thinking about how it allegedly deters ants. That sounds amazing because up until I went to college I was spending close to two thousand dollars a year spraying for ants.

Planting things that deter insects that I don’t like will save me a pretty penny. If it proves that it is working I’ll surely let you know. I know that keeping ants at bay is important for any farmer and not just those of us who are really into permaculture.

Tri-Color Sage is also rabbit resistant.

That’s right. We have rabbits around here, but they haven’t become a problem. It’s nice to know that this plant will not be a victim to rabbits or other predators. I’ll have to plant some hostas for the deer and rabbits near the back of the property. I do want to attract them, I just don’t want them near my other plants. That’s why we plant things like this. In fact, I’ve come to find that many of our herbs are resistant to these animals.

I am not sure yet but I am eager to find out.

All in all I am very please adding this to our forest and I can’t wait to continue to propagate these lovely plants. I feel as though they are going to be littering my property in no time at all. They have lovely lavender flowers that bloom at the end of summer. In my zone they are perennials, but in other zones they are planted as annuals.

These plants do well in containers as well as in gardens. They even do well in shallow soil or rock gardens, if that is something you’re into. Until next time…

Beneficial Grants: Texas Monarch Butterfly Grant

I live in Texas. Howdy.

I was looking into things that could boost my permaculture food forest without costing me any money. As I was looking through the many grants. It all started with the Monarch Butterfly Grant.

This is a very small personal grant that cannot exceed past 400 per person/group. This grant can only be used to purchase plants (which is all I want- free plant money). So there are some rules to this particular grant that go further than that: they have to be native to Texas. I want Butterflies

As I wait for winter to be over I plan. My close friend LD always has a beautiful yard and I want to shine too. This has inspired me to look for money to supply my hobbies.

Challenge accepted.

I want all four hundred of those dollars so that I can expand my already amazing dream permaculture food forest. So I looked into it.

Agarita is one of the native plants. I hadn’t thought about this plant before -primarily because I was so narrow minded on the idea of a permaculture food forest- but I love that we have so many milkweed plants in my pasture because it attracts the butterflies.

That’s also how I happened upon this grant because I decided I wanted to start a butterfly garden to attract even more. The agarita has the nectar that the butterflies crave. If I have this lovely blossoming flower it will give the mom butterflies plenty of food – these plants also are great for other pollinators like bees. Keep that in mind.

It is a shrub that is pointy. I like pointy shrubs because they make good barriers to keep animals away from my property. Sold. They are an evergreen, drought tolerant and they also produce tasty berries (and makes delicious jelly). Sounds like a win-win-win to me.

These are my end game goals guys. I want to be on this list.

Flame acanthus also known as the hummingbird bush. This is absolutely beautiful and another shrub. This is considered a ‘profuse’ bloomer. It allegedly is a huge bloomer and that is exciting because it attracts not just monarch butterflies but also hummingbirds and bees. (It’s also a deer resistant and drought tolerant)

Kidneywood is so beautiful. I had no idea, they are allegedly really fragrant and attract bees and butterflies. They have many branches and they can get up to be 12 feet tall. That is amazing because it is also drought tolerant and can survive cold and heat. (Clay soil is acceptable here). I am digging it. Sounds like it will be a great place for butterflies to settle in and eat some nectar.

Cone Flower is something we already have but would love to have it planted everywhere. Who knew that it was a native Texas plant? Now I know and you do too. This is a perennial and has beneficial properties which I will probably go over at a later time. They bloom from April until September so this will give my early pollinators a snack before the rest bloom in May or June.

The application is online and the application and process seems very easy.

They say purple cone flower can be aggressive- I sure hope so. So keep that in mind.

Cenizo is just a cool name to have. If I get another pet (fingers crossed I don’t but if I do) I am going to name it Cenizo. Regardless, it is made for our zone. It flowers and can take the heat but it does need to be watered. They can get to be up to 8 feet tall. Sounds live privacy fence material to me.

Cenizo goes by another name Texas Sage. Amazingly enough I already have a couple growing. I had no idea. Also this plant does not appreciate heavy pruning- I’ll have to keep that in mind.

The fragrant or pink mimosa is another thorny shrub great for deer resistance and a nice barrier around my property (I hear it smells good too). Another early bloomer but it ends earlier too (March to July). The flowers are lovely and I would love to add them to my butterfly garden (or barrier I haven’t decided). Here is even more Information.

They will check up on us and I can’t wait. This adventure will be really exciting. I can’t wait to start.

Texas Lantana is something I already have growing and they are amazing. I kind of want more of them because they make a beautiful groundcover. All parts of this plant are poisonous and it is considered deer resistant.

Lantanas are perennial shrubs that can grow 2 to 4 foot tall. Wow, they just don’t seem to be scrubbing out for me. They’re just creeping across the ground. That is strange maybe next year they will perk up, regardless I would love to have more. One more link: Texas Lantana. Just in case you’re considering it. It is really beautiful.

Last but not least is Salvia texana and I want this one. If I got that grant I would definitely get this plant. This is a perennial herb and it grows to be up to 2 feet tall. It is drought tolerant and does well in clay or rocky soil (bonus i won’t need to modify the soil I have). Salvias are a perennial flower and have more than 75 species including autumn sage. That is something we already have in honor of my eldest child: Autumn Sage. This is a rabbit hole I’ll have to go down another time, but every new flower or sage that I have gets me more excited.

I have murdered lavender every single year I’ve tried it but look at her growing it like it’s nothing. I am so jealous of her naturally green thumb.

I will, of course, get more milkweed but that will place where where I want them primarily and have a large area in the middle of the garden. That sounds absolutely beautiful.

Can’t wait and I hope I get it, but I already have some of these plants. The milkweed does grow naturally and I want to entice Monarch butterflies. I want them to pollinate all of my fruit trees and attract all of the bees. I understand the importance of planting native plants and I can’t wait to get started.

I will share more grants as I come across more information.

Flowering: My Silverado Sage

I have three silverado sage and one texas sage or at least that is what the tags say. I have to say that I am impressed with how well sage grows here. Maybe I should start making smudge sticks or something. It is crazy.

Don’t judge me, I am a simple sage grower. They sure do look pretty when they are flowering. I like that they don’t have to have fifty gallons of water in a week and that it grows so well in my dirty clay soil.

Soil tests are what’s up when you are buying property. Don’t ever forget to get that down. I am having to cut out too many things because my soil is so compact.

But sage grows really well and looks so pretty. I mean, these flowers are only going to look prettier with each passing day.

Now that sage in the picture above I don’t know what is weird about it because the leaves are always a little yellow. Every other one looks amazing and this one is still flowering. I am just nervous it has plant herpes or something.

Having sage makes the plant murderers like me feel better about themselves. They don’t seem to die even when you don’t always remember to water them.

Happiness is your plants not dying and showing off their beautiful flowers.

Update: The Others

First, let me say I didn’t mean for it to end this way. No matter how many successes that we have there also must be failures. So we can talk about that a little bit.

Of my four lantanas only three have survived but those three have pretty white flowers. I went by yard by yard (which is my absolute favorite nursery) and they have so many other colors. I don’t need anymore right now but man am I tempted.

My autumn sage is doing amazing. They sure do love my clay soil and they attract all of these hummingbirds.

My blue berries are dying. I am embarrassed to post a picture, just know my north east texas clay soil is destroying them.

My lime trees are loving life and growing up very nicely. I enjoy seeing their leaves reaching for the sun. They have such a beautiful shade of green on their leaves. It seems they prefer rain water to anything that I am doing to them.



My sage looks amazing and I went from small little wimpy sage to full on in your face sage. I love it. The leaves are calling out to the sun and requesting it’s love. I love my sage.

My cuban oregano is amazing and I can’t tell you how much this hardy plant. It was my first plant to give me hope and that is why it holds a special place in my heart.

My pineapples seem to be leaners. They want to just lean over and it makes me so mad. I forget that these are baby bushes and I am like, “GROW.” Just like with children it is pointless, but it does make me feel better.

Baby fig do do do do do. I love my baby fig. Too bad my son ran it over at the beginning of the season. I was so bad, but look at her grow. She is just fighting against all odds. I am so proud of her.


Clinatro is great and I actually planted hundreds of baby seeds but I haven’t seen a single sprout.

Update: Autumn Sage

This plant seems to truly enjoy the clay soil. I did some more research it turns out it thrives in dry heat. Autumn Sage claims to be drought resistant, bug free and doesn’t need to be fertilized. I did it anyway, because I researched but obviously not well enough to see that one coming. I am hopeful that this little plant survives because it has done wonders for my small area.

This beastie has been attracting all of the hummingbirds. I didn’t know that this little perennial was going to attract them like that. It has pulled in bees and butterflies as well. You most certainly see the rise in pollinators and that in itself makes these lovely little devils worth it.

I love how it bushes out. The colors add a nice little pop of red which is probably why they sometimes call it firecracker sage.

You would never guess that those flowers on the ground are from the humming bird wars of August 2020. Those guys get really competitive and beat each other up and I’m like, “Guys calm down, I can plant more.”

I probably will next year- especially seeing how well they are doing this year in attracting bees, hummingbirds and butterflies to my home.

This was a couple of days before the rain and before they bushed out. I am really happy with the rain and I will continue to water them even if they are genetically water resistant. I hope that maybe they will grow larger than 3 feet tall but who knows.

Regardless, I think they are happy in their new home.

New addition: radio red salvia or autumn sage

Radio red salvia is pretty. I bought it because it has great red flowers. It likes full or partial shade which means it will do well near my baby fig (do do do do do do).

It is also known as Autumn sage and is drought resistant (which is good in Texas). It is fragrant and it attracts bees and such.

I bought these with two other plants, I’ll put those in another post. Just like all of the other plants I had to buy two of each.

There are a lot of posts that say these plants attract hummingbirds. This is something I can definitely get behind. It is known for pulling pollinators into your garden with their bright red flowers.

I am excited to see the humming birds humming around.

Our plants after one week vacation

Our banana tree. I will take a picture of the pup later, but this is fun.
My blue berry plant 💚
Lemon tree 💚
Baby blue berry
Bell peppers and garlic
Banana peppers
Baby fig do do do do do do
One is squash and one is cantaloupe for sure
(Left and up) ? Oregano and sage (Right, middle and up) rosemary, thyme, and Greek oregano or at least that’s what the tag said
Lemon balm, marjoram and something salad….
Juniper that seems to be struggling
Aloe Vera