Friday, September 7, 2012

Smells Like Fall

Sweet Annie - it always smells like Fall to me.

There are a lot of Artemesia's in the herbal world - Silver 

Queen, Silver King, are just a few. These are a pale gray

perennial and they have their own distinct, but mild scent. 

Sweet Annie is also in the Artemesia family - Artemesia Annua. It gets it's name from it's sweet scent, (it smells like Fall to me!), and, because this plant is an annual - (Annie). It is the only annual in this family - luckily for us, it reseeds itself.

Years ago, when I was doing some huge juried craft shows, I would drive to a pig farm over in West Virginia and literally harvest an entire pick-up truck load. I would make tons of everlasting - arrangements, wreaths and 'trees' out of it.

This plant - unlike many herbs - loves rich soil; and so - it loves my 'smallish' pasture out behind our house, where Sweet Pea, my pony, and Donkey, my donkey reside. It is much nicer to spend time out there with them - harvesting this herb, than having to drive all that way! 
And company they are.  Sweet Pea walks right up to me and wants to see what I'm doing.  Donkey does this little 'stealth' trick.  He sort of comes near me...and then s.l.o.w.l.y. backs in to me until his back end is up against my leg.  Of course they both LOVE to be petted and scratched.
Sweet Annie is an attractant for two FABULOUS garden insects - Lady Bugs and Praying Mantis. Lady bugs, in the early stages, are a tiny, long and narrow black and red critter. I tell everyone who purchases bundles of the herb, that the baby lady bugs are more likely to come along in your package - just shake them outside - your garden will love you! 

Because Praying Mantis are larger to start with - I usually spot them before they get packed up. 

Here I am weighing out 2 half pound pre-orders that I shipped off yesterday. Boy are those boxes fragrant when I take them up to the post office!

These little yellow buds are what is so fragrant. This plant makes beautiful bases for herb wreaths, smells good when you put a tiny bit in your vacuum cleaner, and looks pretty in fresh floral arrangements too!
Sorry there isn't a scratch and sniff component to the computer - it smells like Fall to me!

Until then... xo, Liz

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