The Urban Gardener: That Blooming Basil? Nope…it’s Pineapple Sage!

It’s been several weeks (maybe even a month?) since my last Urban Gardener post.  Sadly, our growing season is pretty much done.  The sedums, which I posted about here in mid-September, are darker now – almost a burnt red. This past Saturday, we chopped down the banana trees and dug up their root balls.  We’ve also started trimming back some of the iris plants which have already started to yellow and wilt.  Think of it as having to spend a whole week after Christmas taking down all of the decorations and packing them away.  That’s what it feels like at least when you are having to start “winterizing” the garden.  It can be quit depressing.

As you may remember, from this post in May, this was the first year we added herbs to the flower beds.  We’ve tried several times to grow them in pots to no avail.  After seeing a segment on TV about how you should add certain herbs to your beds to attract butterflies or detract bugs, we decided to give it a go and invest in a few.  We frequently enjoyed picking their leaves through the summer to smell them, especially the mint and lemon balm.  We also couldn’t believe how big they grew once they were established in the ground.  No more growing herbs in pots for us come next year!

Most of the herbs are dry and dying off now.  Unfortunately, they don’t come back.  But one nice treat to this fall season has been the Pineapple Sage which is now in bloom.  It’s a beautiful red flower and now the only color in the back yard beside one of the roses which is being a late bloomer. We first thought it was thyme or basil (the reason for the title of this post).  But after going back and looking at the post about which herbs we planted, and Googling them for images of the herbs in bloom, we discovered it was the Pineapple Sage.

Like I said, I was well pleased with how well the herbs did and I plan to invest in more of them again next year to add to the beds for color and scent.

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