When friends drop by in summer, they always stop at the gate to see the clary sage that graces the border of the herb garden. Its impressive, heart-shaped, velvety leaves fan out as big as a hand and are pungently fragrant. By August, tiny blossoms and showy pastel bracts nod on tall, square stems, attracting bees and even an occasional hummingbird.
The clary sage is rich with the history of Europe and Great Britain’s physick gardens, containing plants and herbs grown for their medicinal properties. Medieval healers knew it as “clear eye” because the plant’s seed was said to clear the sight.