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Sage is often associated just with stuffing, but this tough evergreen plant goes well beyond that as a beautiful addition to the garden.
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Many cooks automatically think "stuffing" or "sausage" when sage is mentioned as a culinary herb. True enough, but there are reasons why this herb is so popular in gardens, and it's not just about eating. 'Berggarten' sage forms beautiful gray-green mounds of foliage, one to two feet tall and wide, and once established, is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, evergreen plant. Blue flower spikes rise above the matte-green leaves in summer, attracting bees to the garden. Unlike thyme basil, or oregano, the flavor of sage's leaves doesn't change once the flowers emerge. Cooking tip: try fast-frying individual sage leaves in 1/4" of oil, maybe 10 seconds per side, until crisp. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and you have sage chips - delicious!
To prolong the life of 'Berggarten' sage, cut the plant back in late fall or winter just past the woody stems. New growth will emerge in the spring. Harvested leaves may be dried by tying stems into bundles and hanging them in a cool, dark ventilated space until thoroughly dry.
|Mature Size||12" - 24" tall and wide|
|Cold Hardiness||-10 ° F|
|Characteristics||Evergreen, deer-resistant, drought tolerant once established, attracts bees and butterflies, fragrant, edible|
|Light||Full sun to partial sun|
|Uses||Rock gardens, xeriscapes, culinary gardens, container planters, borders, hanging baskets|
|Photos||Real images, not stock photos|