Contrasting with Wormwood

Wormwood in the mist Ramesa Garden. Picture: Romaine Undery

With Spring now upon us we’re seeing lots of beautiful Federation, Shasta and African daisies in gardens and nurseries right now. The splash of colour is always a welcome sight at this time of year and importantly we see buzzing bees collecting pollen, pollinating flowers and then ultimately we enjoy their hard work and honey.

A fantastic group of plants related to the daisies is called Artemesia; and include Wormwood, Mugwort, Southernwood and Roman Wormwood. Artemisia is a large, diverse genus of plants belonging to the daisy family Asteraceae, with between 200 and 400 species.They are not showy with flowers like the other daisies but instead are soft to touch, are hardy with the cold winters and hot dry summers and are a wonderful contrasting plant in the garden. Here in the South Burnett hardiness is definitely a must!

Many of the Wormwoods have a soft grey colouring and provide such a subtle hue in the garden. The photo you see here was taken in winter and is a tall growing Wormwood called “Powis Castle” The lovely softness of the leaves leaning against the wagon wheel with the Blue Gums disappearing into the morning mist is quite mesmerising to me. I took this photo from the pathway of the front garden early one morning; one of those happy snaps I’m really quite proud of.

I have been propagating quite a few of these lately and soon I plan to do cuttings of my favourite wormwood plant; one called Morris strain. Aside from French Lavender it really captures my attention. It’s such a lovely low growing wormwood; easy to care for and absolutely a real treasure in the garden. Many people visiting Ramesa Nursery have touched its soft foliage and seem to share my thoughts regarding its true value of toughness and beauty in the home garden.

If you ever get the opportunity to grow Wormword of various types I think you’ll find it a welcome addition to your garden for so many reasons. There are both perennial and annual types. Wormwood is a native plant to Europe and Northern Africa (Artemisia absinthium), while Sweet Wormwood (Artemisia annua) the annual wormwood is native to temperate Asia. Over the last twenty years I’ve grown the perennial types and love that they attract the native bees with their little button flowers and all have a distinctive frangrance; especially the mugwort and southernwood.

I hope you all enjoy this beautiful weather at the moment; what we need now is a good drench of rain. Happy Gardening everyone.