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Garden sage.

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It'll smell for the rest of your life ...

Garden sage (Salvia officinalis) is the type example of scented anti-inflammatory sages (Salvia spp.) which help the lungs.
Some herbalists insist that the red-leafed variety is the best of the lot - I think they're painting a line in water, but shrug.

I grew herbs on my windowsill about 20 years ago, back when I had a wall of windows facing southeast, and no garden. All my herbs thrived (once I figured out the tricks), but over winter they would get vermin: spider mites which eat the leaf, and which ultimately kill the plants. No problem, if a plant dies you have room for another ... but the garden sage had been surviving for 4 or 5 winters already, and it was enormous and rather pretty, so I wanted to save it.

I had these bamboo grilling sticks, about 25 cm long, which I used to check for moisture in the flowerpots: stick one in, and before you water, pull it up and see if there's moisture deeper down in that pot - don't water if there is.
So I took one of these sticks and picked those blasted mites off the leaves one by one by one, checking leaves against a strong light. After about 3 weeks of daily checking for spider mites the salvia was clean.

However, I had had my nose in the salvia for half an hour or more every day for 3 weeks. I didn't like the scent anymore.

So while the plant survived the spider mite attack, it didn't survive not being liked anymore: I threw it out a week or two later.

I still don't like garden sage.



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