Wormwood

petitparadis artemisiaRecently I have been really attracted to Wormwood, Artemisia absinthium. My previous experiences of the herb have been limited to a small shrub that looks really shabby and tolerates dry areas, but only just. Rather embodying the energy of a slug in a puddle.

So it has been with a great deal of surprise that as summer and autumn moved on and the Wormwood shrub in the back yard grew from a small potted plant to a lush, monster of a thing I started to change my thoughts about this plant.

I had taken a few cuttings to strike and some to throw to the chooks. Within a very short time of just a matter of weeks the bush was filling in and looking very lush and attractive and full. Not the spindly, lacklustre plant I was used to. It also gave off a pleasant perfume which really appealed to me. Which oddly, is not something that most texts on Artemisia sing praise about.

So I began to take more and more cuttings and did what I had done initially and just stuck them into the ground or in pots. Most of these appear to have settled in and I’m hoping will show some new growth soon. The reason for the enthusiastic propagation is because when I saw how thick the bushes can become when pruned, and the attractive appearance of a well-watered Wormwood I came to the realisation that this would make a perfect temporary hedge for the new garden.

One of our borders with the neighbours doesn’t have a fence-line and I am planning to have some sort of privacy given we’ll have our animals in various parts of the garden. When I saw the behaviour of the Wormwood in our garden I thought it would make for an easy hedge plant which over time could be replaced with more long-term hedge species. I am also hoping it will create a barrier against the neighbours grass and limit its entry into our vegetable garden area.

 

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