Barbie's garden Gardening Perenniels

Powis Castle Art

Hi Chris, we had so much rain yesterday, I could do nothing in the garden, but my new grass patch got a good drenching (and so did my chickens, shame!!) but I did manage to take a photo of my beautiful Artemesia Powis Castle in the front garden. Do you remember the post I did a few months ago on these amazing plants?

Artemesia Powis Castle

Like other Artemisias, Powis Castle is highly fragrant and very drought tolerant, however it  is different from both its parents, Wormwood and Tree Wormwood, because it is a very light bloomer. For the landscape this is a definite advantage, because when Artemisias bloom they are not only on the blah side but they also tend to fall apart. The best way to prune Powis Castle is for looks. In autumn or spring prune for shape. It is not necessary to prune for the health of the plant. If left unpruned, this Powis Castle Artemisia may grow to 3m (10 feet) or more in diameter, but the appearance will be wild and untamed.

These soft ferny leaves make an aromatic bouquet ideally suited for crafting fresh herbal wreaths or drying for potpourri. The blooms that it does make can be used also and are particularly suited for filling the outer edge of a wreath.

Like all Artemisias, Powis Castle can adapt to most soils and sun levels.

I guess this is a favourite of mine!

I just love how the rain drops stick to the leaves……. enjoy the photos!







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Autumn showers

I took myself into the garden this morning to bring cheer and colour into the day. It is gloomy when it rains and I guess my spirit tends to drop on cloudy days – so I’m definitely not  a winter person. But, I somehow love the rain and how the garden looks when its wet and drippy! Even the little bugs in the garden are somehow enjoying the autumn showers. I wanted to share my wet garden with you!

[one_half]Sprinkled rosesWet rose[/one_half]

[one_half_last]A thirsty flyFly on the rose[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Droopy wormwoodWet wormwood[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Aphids finding shelterAphids on roses[/one_half_last]


Enjoy your wet wonderland!


Barbie's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

Wormwood, mugwort or Powis Castle?

I have been fascinated by the names given to these perennial shrubs. I found them in my favourite book by Margaret Roberts on “Companion Planting”  and became interested in the Artemesia species because of their insect repellant and anti-fungal properties. Through my recent research, I came across some interesting information that I did not know about this plant!! Artemisia is a large, diverse genus of plants with between 200-400 species belonging to the daisy family. It comprises hardy herbs and shrubs known for their volatile oils, usually in dry or semi-dry habitats. The Powis Castle is commonly known as Wormwood – I thought they were different! Hmmm! As you can see below the Powis Castle (left) is very similar to the Wormwood (right).

[one_half]Powis Castle[/one_half]


Wormwood – Artemesia Absinthium – This herb, also commonly known as mugwort, is immortalized in history as being one of the most valued in the world, with a volatile essential oil extract from the leaves and roots. The active ingredient of this herb is called thujone. When this is chemically pure, it becomes a colorless liquid with menthol aroma. Thujone is extensively used by many pharmaceutical products, one of which is Vicks Vaporub (very interesting!)

A hardy plant that can tolerate slight drought, it thrives in full sun and can tolerate partial shade. It is ideally planted in heavy clay that has been amended with humus and sand. The woody roots of this plant secrete a certain chemical that inhibits the growth of other plants around it. This is a unique weed-like characteristic of the Artemisia herb. The way the herb places chemicals into the soil has made it listed as a noxious weed, as the poisonous nature (hmmm….!) of its roots is treacherous to other plants. I better move this away form my roses, where I planted it!!

The plant’s characteristic odor can make it useful for making a plant spray against pests. It is used in companion planting to suppress weeds, because its roots secrete substances that inhibit the growth of surrounding plants. It can repel insect larvae when planted on the edge of the cultivated area. It has also been used to repel fleas and moths indoors. In folk medicine, wormwood preparations are used internally for gastric insufficiency, intestinal atonia, gastritis, stomach. ache, liver disorders, bloating, anemia, irregular menstruation, intermittent fever, loss of appetite, and worm infestation.

Externally, the drug is applied for poorly healing wounds, ulcers, skin blotches, and insect bites.

How amazing how the leaves of the plant can be both beneficial and health given and at the same time the roots can be poisonous! Nature works in mysterious ways!