harvesting sweet annie

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harvesting sweet annie

Postby Anonymous » Wed Jul 02, 2003 11:44 pm

hello, my sweet annie is about 4 feet tall, when is it right to harvest, and is this done simply by hanging, air drying? For wreaths, should I shape them first before drying? many thanks and blessed be~!

"If everyone isn't beautiful, then no one is"~(Andy Warhol)
Anonymous
 

Postby LadyB » Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:48 am

Ohhhhhhh and she goes for one of my FAVORITE plants in the whole world. Is that SMELL just not the ABSOLUTE best. Before I learned what it WAS, my partner and I would come upon it while gardening for other folks and we just called it "Fragrant Hoo-Hah" [:D]

COOL thing about Sweet Annie is that you can harvest it at all DIFFERENT times, depending on what you're DOING with it.....For tincturing, (and we DO use it to help with Lyme and malaria)I take some BEFORE it blooms, when the leaves are still perfect and green.

(Blooms, did she say BLOOMS???)Ahhh yes, Sweet Annie, being the baby sister of Artemesias does indeed 'bloom' in magnificent artemesia 'beads' at the tips of her branches. They start out green (her elder sisters start out silver) and then the FUN starts. They go from green, to yellow, to golden.....while at the same time the STEMS go from green to burgundy to brown....all the while the LEAVES go from green eventually to beige too.....So NOW what do we do??? Just WATCH.....there's a PLACE where the flowerbeads are RIPE, a good, solid feel to them and the whole thing is just this green/gold/burgundy that is just STUNNING. Cut at this PRECISE point of gloriousness, all the colors STAY for a very long time, especially if you hang them upside down in a dark place (but where there's plenty of air circulation.

I wish I could EXPLAIN just WHEN it's at its very BEST...I'm rubbing my fingertips together here at the screen just ITCHIN' to be able to be there with you saying "Feel that?? FEEL that?? It's DONE". (I won't COMPLETELY love the internet until we have gooey screens we can REACH through!!)

If you choose to weave a wreath while it's fresh, be sure you lay the wreath flat to dry. If you HANG it to dry completely, some of the flowering tips might give over to gravity and it will LOOK droopy. But prop it evenly up on something so the back doesn't go moldy....Actually, laying the whole wreath flat on a screen would be grand.

I let DEAR Sweet Annie rather TAKE OVER the cutting garden at Glynwood....(not hard to do, just turn your back!) But I had SO much of it that I was cutting it in all different color combos and drying entire plants upside down to use the gorgeous beaded tips in OTHER wreaths...mainly the Christmas wreaths. Utterly ELEGANT against deep evergreens with REAL rosehips for berries.

But THEN there's the Grand Finale.....I always tried to let just ONE grow to her absolute, unencumbered, FULL wingspread. Notice how they look like PERFECT Christmas trees.....and that ONE would become this madly, oddly fragrant CHRISTMAS TREE!! (shedding a zillion seeds all over the floor as it was decorated with the TINIEST bows and lightest-weight ornaments). It was VERY special.

THANK YOU, Beth.....that was GREAT fun.....I miss my Annies
(though YES, there are STILL some dried branches in my storage shed!)
enjoy, enjoy, enjoy
LadyB


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Postby Cloudberry » Thu Jul 03, 2003 12:05 pm

That sounds so nice, but pray do tell what kind of being sweet annie is[?]
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Postby LadyB » Thu Jul 03, 2003 1:58 pm

Cloudberry, you are so dear.
Yes, she is quite a BEING!
She is one of the rare GREEN-leafed artemesias (most being silver), her botanical name is Artemesia annua. Although lots and LOTS of folks insist on calling her Wormwood (they call ALL artemesias wormwood) and some sources call her Sweet Wormwood, I consider true Wormwood to be Artemesia absinthium.....ah well

I hated most of the photos I found through the Google images search engine, but THIS one
www.nutraceuticalalliance.com/ hl25.htm
actually shows the leaf/stem color difference I was talking about.
The INFORMATION below the photo will have your head ABSOLUTELY spinning.....

She's a VORACIOUSLY re-seeding annual. Once you've got ONE, you get a million more next year, but easy to pull out and her leaves are strongly fragrant of some reminiscence of apples. (Beth? Can you describe the scent??) She really CAN grow to 6 & 7 feet tall if she's happy and doesn't have tons of competition. She can also be clipped back and kept small and VERY bushy, but then you lose the form a bit and delay the blooming. If I find anything else picture-wise, I'll toss it UP here.

LadyB

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Postby Cloudberry » Thu Jul 03, 2003 3:43 pm

Thank you for the info LadyB, I don't think I've seen this one yet - probalby live too far North. I've both Artemisia absinthia, vulgaris, maritima and ludoviciana in my garden. The last one is so wonderfull to smudge with.
Have you seen the silver artemisias in full moonlight? Don't they just dance with the fairies?

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Postby LadyB » Thu Jul 03, 2003 5:54 pm

Oh my DEAR, I did an entire MOONGARDEN with Artemesias as the entire Greek Chorus.....Silver Mounds, Silver King, Silver Queen...really breath-taking they were in the moonlight.....sigh ~~LadyB

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Postby Anonymous » Fri Jul 04, 2003 12:48 am

Mmmm...I would say a "clean" rather heady apple-ish scent, yes? I have a culinary bed with basils, oregano, rosemary, chamomile, chives and the sweet annie to the rear, I also have a medicine wheel with mullein in East, Bronze Fennel in south, Mugwort in west, and sage in north. In front of this i have a row of moonflowers flowing down a wall with lambs ears as well. Rather chaotic i know...my babies planted squash and pumpkins -rather close-man, talk about getting alot of bang for a buck; its shocking to think of all that growth coming from one little seed~!
When would you suggest the harvesting of sweet annie? I am so glad to learn it is an abundant re-seeder!

"If everyone isn't beautiful, then no one is"~(Andy Warhol)
Anonymous
 

Postby LadyB » Mon Jul 14, 2003 8:45 am

HAPPY ANNIE NOTE! [:D]
Know how I said I still have dried branches in the storage shed that I moved with me from my last apartment? Well GUESS what happened when I carried them OUT to the storage shed!!! Yes indeedy, just spotted baby Annies out in the weed patch I've begged the landlord not to mow (it's driving him nuts) At first I saw only one and was totally delighted, then I walked back through and there are BUNCHES of them! The soil here is a mess, really compacted (oh, the plantain is VERY happy) so the Annies won't get to ANY kind of full size, but they'll probably still bloom.

Beth, I tried to answer your 'when to harvest' in my first response which is to say I can't truly SAY. If you've got oodles of it, cut some branches at each stage and see what you like best. I like the burgundy stems, golden flower-beads, still green leaves stage myself.
LadyB

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Postby DALE » Mon Jul 14, 2003 9:59 pm

I love sweet annnne as well.woodwoorm? it protects our space.the smell makes me high. thanks for the seeding advice' i will dance with her in my field. is their a best time? would you come and have a dance with me.
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Postby LadyB » Tue Jul 15, 2003 9:41 am

Well Dale, I seem to have proven that to haul an armload of very DRIED branches around a storage shed when moving into an apartment in November will seed sweet babies who are about 4" tall come July in the northeast US.

Of COURSE I'll come dance with you! Anybody else?? Dance party in Dale's field!!!! Bring seeds!! [:D]

LadyB

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