This shrub is deciduous so it will lose all its leaves in autumn, then fresh new foliage appears again each spring. Position: full sun; Soil: well-drained, poor to moderately fertile; Rate of growth: average; Flowering period: August and September; Hardiness: fully hardy With its aromatic leaves and upright spikes of violet-blue flowers, Russian sage makes a wonderful companion to all kinds of late-summer ornamental grasses and perennials. In August and September, tiny, violet-blue, tubular flowers appear on silver-grey spikes above the main framework of the plant, among deeply-cut and lobed, grey-green leaves. This deciduous sub-shrub makes a real impact planted en masse alongside a path, where the sage-like fragrance of its leaves can be appreciated, or try it alongside other silver-leaved plants, or in swathes in a sunny border. One of our recommended plants, it copes well with dry, chalky soil and salt-laden air; Garden care: As this shrub has a tendancy to flop a little, in March cut back to the permanent framework of the shrub to promote bushier growth. After pruning apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant.