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Growing and Enjoying Sage in the Garden -Facts and Tips
Sage, growing and enjoying Sage in the garden
I love to grow herbs in the garden and sage is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I now live in the Midwest, USA, and we often go below freezing in the winters. Not favorable to many growing things, especially that are above ground. They have more chance to die in pots, due to the above ground exposure. What is exciting to me, is that my little sage plant comes back year after year. Its like it comes back to life, that it looks so dead. It is quite the "trooper" herb.
Currently, as seen in the picture to the right, it is blooming with pretty lavender flowers. The flowers are very unique looking, close up. Its always nice to rub the leaves between my fingers, and smell the lovely smell the herb puts off.
Facts about Sage
The official name of sage is Salvia officianalis. It is from the Labiatae family and is an ancient herb.
Perhaps its no wonder sage does well where I live, as I have seen it called an evergreen perennial shrub. It looks like it dies every winter. It looks truly dead, dried out, and gets no care at all. Evidently it has a strong taproot, that saves the day and is a key to its survival.
The branches and stems can become woody, and can branch out to 2 feet, 6 inches very often. When they are young, they are grey and wooly.
The leaves are a grey-gree color, and have a pebbly, bumpy appearance and feel to them. The leaves are oblong in shape or lanceolate. They are finely toothed, as well. The best culinary sages are the plain, narrow leaved and non flowering broad leafed type. I know for me, I really enjoy the flowers, so would hate to not have them.
Being an ancient herb, it has long been popular as a strong condiment for meat, fish and Mediterranean dishes. It is used in an English Sage, Derby Cheese. Its been a base for Sage tea, something I haven't had before. I love herb tea, so it would be great to try sometime. In the past, and maybe even now, the tea was used to counteract a sweating problem.
A sage infusion, used to be used to treat depression, nervous anxiety issues and liver disorders. Sage has even been used to help with circulation and menopausal problems. The leaves can be used as an antiseptic and even as a gargle for laryngitis and tonsilitis. It has been used as a breath freshener and tooth cleanser. The essential oil of sage is used in some perfumes.
One last thought to share, is that there is a neat variety of sage out there, (and there are a few) that has a variegated leaf on it. Its really nice.