Veronica or Salvia

Have a very hard time remembering if I put in Veronica (spikey) or salvia. Is there any surefire way to distinquish the perennial varieties? I am certain the leaves are different. My salvia/veronica tall plants always seem to have nasty leaves near the end of the growing season. I want to move them towards the back of the beds. Is there any blue plant with leaves that stay nice? Does anyone grow Gentian in a small bed near the front of the border? Some of the newer varieties like sun and have a long bloom period.
Thanks A gardening dummy Karen

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