* Botanical name: Salvia nemerosa ‘Marcus’
* What it is: A sun-loving, drought-tough perennial flower with dark purple flower spikes in May and June. Similar to but shorter than the popular award-winner ‘May Night’ salvia.
* Size: 12 inches tall. Plant 2 feet apart.
* Where to use: Perennial borders, sunny foundations, rock gardens and any hot, sunny spot.
* Care: Fertilize in early spring with a granular, organic flower fertilizer such as Flower-tone. Snip off flower heads after bloom and plants will usually bloom again in late summer. Cut foliage to ground after frost kills it in fall or in early spring before new growth begins.
* Great partner: ‘Knock Out’ or ‘Drift’ shrub roses or fountaingrass ‘Karley Rose.’ Pink dianthus is a sun-loving perennial that blooms at the same time.