Drought tolerant and low maintenance, Russian sage is a no-fuss perennial that brings on the color all season long. ‘Denim ‘n Lace’ tames the tall and floppy growth of traditional Russian sage with a compact 28- to 32-inch height. Plants resemble lavender when in full color. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Botanical name: Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Denim ‘n Lace’
Climbing pink roses spill over a wood gazebo in this formal cottage garden, framing the entryway towards the shingled home. A simple rope fence intersects the garden and defines the entry garden from the large expanse of lawn framed by silvery lavender Russian sage.
Drawing on the home's charming French country style, the landscape architects decorated the front yard with pretty trees and flowers. Mass planted Russian sage and ornamental grasses fill the beds, while stone columns offer symmetry and balance.
When designing planting areas, focus on drought tolerant plants that won’t guzzle water to look their best. Purple Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) and burgundy tinted purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) provide a long season of color and don’t need heavy amounts of water.
As you shift snow to clear walks and driveways, take care to place it where it won’t crush woody plants, like roses and shrubs. If you live in a snow-prone region, you might want to fill areas where you or the local snowplow toss snow with perennials and shrubs you cut back in spring, like butterfly bush, Russian sage and beautyberry.
Unless you want to leave seedheads in place for winter bird feasting, it’s a good idea to jump-start spring clean-up by pruning perennial stems before the snow flies. Don’t cut stems of plants like Russian sage (shown) shorter than 2 feet, especially in coldest areas. Shortening stem height helps protect plants from heavy snow. In coldest regions, avoid snipping stems shorter than about 4 inches. Remaining stem stubs catch fall leaves, which can help insulate plant crowns.