artemisa annua

one of my favorite herbs, artemisa annua, is springing up all around my house. last year i mananged a bumper crop that grew to over six feet high, a patch of heavenly hedge that threatened to overtake the rhodendroms.

get rid of it, proclaimed Beloved, and so this spring, i did, assidiously plucking out all the errant seedlings of this years' crop. but artemisa annua is not only the herb that summons friendly spirits, it's tenacious and persistent as well.

i see it springing up all over, in the corners and the cracks, its foliage feathery and fragant, with a vaguely lemon-apple scent. it is just a common weed, the botanical directories tell me, orginating in europe and asia, but how fitting for a plant that feels like a familiar.

how could it not? artemisa annua by any other name is called sweet annie.

Inula helenium

Commonly called elecampane 'round these parts . . . just coming to bloom. From the moment this herb rooted on my little acre it identified itself as a sentry. I know we are in high summer when it starts blooming. 

Sacred Weeds

Yesterday my neighbor gave me these babies . . . 
. . . young nicotania, or tobacco if you prefer. She explained that the seeds were sown in a manner traditional to native intentions, rendering the harvested plant matter suitable for sacred works. I am grateful for this gift.

Today a package arrived in the mail from California. No ordinary package, this, for the fragrance and energy met me as I opened my mailbox. Fresh white sage, grown with intention, from a syster's garden to me.
The energy and fragrance is astounding!

Tell me I'm not blessed.

Allium & Althea

I harvested about half my garlic today. Beauty, eh?

This little marshmallow blossom asked me to slow down . . . breathe deep . . . witness the beauty of life all around and with me. So I did.

Tincture of Achillea millefolium

Finally harvested a small bit of yarrow from my little acre today. It sits now, macerating in good grain alcohol. And even after only a few hours, the emerald color seeps in, and with it all that healing magic too!

the view from the Far Side

the second harvest of chamomile has yielded a whole tin of tea, and, inspired by Beloved and his efforts, i have managed to garner enough dried lavendar for at least two pots. the lavendar bushes seem inclined to (agreeably) make more. i've also begun to harvest and dry the white sage.

the bee-balm, yarrow and echinacea are all blooming in glorious shades from garnet to pale pink, and rose's rhubarb seems to be adapting to its new spot. her chinese leeks are threatening to overtake the chives. the black-leaved basil, varigated sage, rosemary and pineapple peppermint are all happy in their pots. the oregano and thyme are rioting. the new marjoram i put in to replace the old stuff seems to be doing well, too- its blossoming tiny little flowers. when the sun is hot in the afternoons, the scent of all the kitchen herbs fills my bedroom.

the betony and anise i got a few years ago are both thriving - one of them - i think its hte betony - is making big purple heads the bumblebees love. the motherwort doesn't look so well, but she's hanging in there - bless her. i hope next year is better for her. the mugwort and sweet annie are fighting it out with the fiddlehead ferns for space along the edges.

predictably, my red geraniums are bursting, and the dill died.
My babies are growing up sooo Well not all that fast but I am still very excited about it

Monarda and St. John's Wart



Heirloom Tomatoes

Just thought I would show everyone. I don't have pets or kiddies to show off so....

First Name Basis

A stroll around my little acre this morning leads me to many welcoming friends.




Actea (formerly named Cimicifuga)

Inula, Monarda, Solidago and others



A whole tribe of Thymus