It's a bit of a balancing act... traipsing around my garden in the early morning, scissors in one hand and coffee in the other. If I frightened the neighbors when I was just in my jammies, imagine how they feel when they see the crazy lady with the garden shears!
Salvias will bloom for a good 8 weeks, if they are promptly deadheaded. These beauties are forever getting a haircut.
Nurseries sell more tender salvias than they do tough ones and that's why some gardeners are suspicious about the zone claims. I've had tremendous luck with the Queens.
In fact, Blue Queen and Rose Queen Salvias* grow so easily I direct-sow them by seed and have over 30 of these intensely colored, bushy perennials speckling the yard. They're not fussy about soil, flourish in the blazing sun, surprisingly drought-tolerant. (Even I can't kill 'em!)
I'm not sure who is more attracted to the Queens... little girls in my neighborhood or the butterflies passing by.
*Salvia superba Blue Queen and Rose Queen, USDA zones 4-9, bloom mid-July through August with proper deadheading.