A few days ago I presented a challenge to the Blogsters list at Yahoo. The challenge was to blog everything they knew about Sweet Annie, 'Artemisia annua' and provide a picture. The goal is to get them writing and creating a blog that they would enjoy presenting to the public at large. Most of these women are business owners and most own their own business or partner with others to create an unique niche. Some of these women are a little timid while the others jumped right in and completed their challenge. Might be the reward of receiving a handmade Sweet Annie wreath that is motivating them....Whatever it might be I am humbled by a group of women who pretty much started their businesses from scratch with very little money and for some, very little support from their families. Circle around several years later and these women have successful businesses, happy families and full lives all centering around their love of herbs. Please visit our links section here on our blog and on our website, Possum Creek Herb Farm, and visit the links of these very important women.
Now, on to our challenge....I fell in love with Sweet Annie about twenty years ago when someone gave me a wreath that she made from a patch she was growing. She told me with a smile to shake the wreath over an area on the ground where I wanted the Sweet Annie to grow. I followed her instructions and to my amazement I had several little Sweet Annie plants growing the following spring. Ferny green and sweetly scented (not for the allergic) the Sweet Annie grew and grew like Jack's beanstalk until I had towering trees. As the summer passed into fall the Sweet Annie changed to a bright golden yellow green with little seeds along all of the branches. As September waned and October color began taking over the gardens, the "trees" changed to a russet gold and became almost powdery. I knew it was ready for wreath making and for other projects I had only seen in magazines or in upscale herb shops. I promise that I will blog how to create one of these wreaths very soon, but I wanted to show you what can truly be done with what most people consider a "weed" in their gardens. These wreaths pictured were done last year for two upscale garden centers and for a wedding. NOTE: sorry gals, these are not one of the wreaths for the blog challenge reward. :)
You may notice that the wreaths' base is a darker green. These wreaths were done in August while the Sweet Annie was still in its "green" state. During this state it is easier to work with for those whose nose cannot handle the dust Sweet Annie creates. Misting with water or working with the Sweet Annie while the dew is still on it helps somewhat. A beautiful wreath can last forever if taken care of. Keep out of sunlight, away from moisture and heat and gently blow the dust off with a hair dryer all helps preserve the beauty. And remember, shake your wreath over a spot on the ground for next year's new plants....and the year after.....and the year after that.