“Southernwood”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


One man’s weed is another man’s garden plant. 

One very common plant that is always showing up around here is southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum) which I remember from childhood as just a common weed.  Whenever I saw it popping up in our garden, I would get rid of it in a hurry.  Can’t have a known weed growing in a garden.  Then, about five years ago, back when there were true garden shows on television, I saw a show that was showing gardens in Germany.  Lo and behold, there was the host describing this great plant from America that turned out to be southernwood.  I couldn’t believe it.  Our plain old weed, now a star in German gardens.  (I believe the same thing happened to goldenrod – went to Europe and came back to America as a star.)

The next year, when this “weed” starting showing up in the garden, I let some stay around.  It does have a very delicate “ferny” look and is a lovely green.  It also can get fairly tall, maybe six feet.  Come fall, it begins to bloom, and by Thanksgiving is a lovely shade of tan – perfect for autumn.


Artemisia - Southernwood (redu)


Artemisia - Southernwood 2 (redu)


Funny, how we don’t want something until someone else values it.  I am glad I watched that garden show because I certainly found out about a great plant I thought was only a weed. 

Attractive Weed?

“Attractive Weed?”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


I have often written about how many new weeds have shown up in the garden since Hurricane Katrina blew through.  Many gardeners here have said the same thing.  Well, last year a new plant volunteered in the garden.  It was green with delicate, cut leaves.  I let it grow, trying to figure out what it was.  It looked like it could be some sort of wild artemisia.  It continued to grow slowly and the fine textured foliage made a nice contrast to the daylilies around it.


This spring, it returned, a little bigger, so I decided to move it since I didn’t want it crowding out the daylilies.  I moved it to a shadier location in an area I was redoing that had few plants and so there was space for it.  It thrived.  I continued to try and find out what it was but no luck.  Now it has started to bloom.



The flowers are tiny and almost look like little tufts.  This is probably some terrible weed that I should immediately remove, but curiosity is winning out.  I am thinking about trimming off the flowers before they go to seed just in case this is some noxious weed that no one in her right mind would have in a garden.  Here is a picture that shows the foliage.



The leaves are very finely cut, but as it grows the ones on the top change slightly and are not as lobed.   I have looked all over the Internet and in my garden books, but can’t find any info on any weed or wildflower that looks like this.  Any ideas?  Anyone?



A Nothing Sunday

“A Nothing Sunday”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


We had some more rain today, so there was no working in the garden.  Combined with the rain from last night, we had 1.32 inches of rain.  We really didn’t need today’s rain, but it did cool things off a bit.


I did get out in the late afternoon just to walk around.  The mosquitoes were out but not too bad considering all the rain we have had lately.  The irises I planted yesterday looked like they made it through the rain okay.  I did trim back some cannas and the white lantana.  None of the lantana I have in the garden is blooming very well right now.  I think it must be because we have had so much rain lately.  I find that lantana really blooms well only when it is on the dry side which is why I try not to water them too much, but I can’t help the rain.


Well, maybe tomorrow when I get home from work, I’ll be able to do a little weeding.  I want to make sure none of the weeds go to seed.  I have to really watch the chamber bitters weeds.  They look like little mimosa trees, but on the back of the leaves are numerous seeds.  I never had these until Hurrican Katrina blew through, but since then they are all over the place.  They are not too bad in the garden beds, but they are all over the lawn now.  Mowing keeps them in check, but once we stop mowing for the fall, they can continue to grow, so everytime I see one, I pull it.


So, today nothing much got done as far as gardening, but maybe this was nature’s way of telling me to take it easy and rest up for next weekend.