Sunday, June 24, 2012

Artemesia... just keeps on growing and growing ...

 I love artemesia 'powis castle.'  I love the lacy, flowing foliage that softens the garden, releases a soft, herby-scent and can easily fill a large space.

Or, an enormous space.  And never stop growing.

Ever.

Ever.
 It's great for contrast, texture and form.  But it is eating my garden.

I spend hours pruning this one so that it keeps from swallowing up the Acacia tree behind it.  Well, it used to be behind it.  Now it's enveloped the entire tree.  And while the artemesia is soft, getting close to those Acacia thorns is no fun.
In the back yard, it's swallowing up my 'Lord Baltimore' hibiscus and the variegated shell ginger that you can't even see in this photo.

It's common name is wormwood and it's an herbaceous perennial that grows well from zone 6-9.  It's advertised to get 2-3 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide.  (HA!)  It loves full sun, tolerates drought and is deer and rabbit resistant.  Perfect, right?  Well, if you have about 6-8 feet of space for it to take over.

I still love it. But next time, I'll put it in a larger space where I don't have to keep it pruned as much.

Sometimes my experience in my garden isn't quite what's printed on that little plastic label at the nursery or in my google search!

But that's part of the fun and mystery of gardening, isn't it?

What's surprising you in your garden?


12 comments:

Ruth said...

It is beautiful. It reminds me a bit of my curry plant in color and in the need to expand.

Helen said...

It must be retaliating in your garden for the ones my garden has killed. Sorry!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

I love Artemesia 'Powis Castle'. Bought three to have along the driveway, one survived. (this is where the construction vehicles parked, really compacted) The remaining one is quite large. I bought a different variety this spring-- 'Silver Brocade', looks like Dusty Miller.
Surprises of large growing plants? another Artemesia, 'Oriental Limelights' would put that one in the invasive/aggressive category.

katina said...

Or what about that grass you have in your front yard that was supposed to only be 2.5' tall and it's over 5'?

Linda/patchwork said...

I love this plant.
I have it in places I want it to take over. So, no problems yet.
It does seem to droop, if it doesn't get a regular drink. Not sure what's going on there.
Anything the deer won't eat though, is a plant favorite here.

Diana said...

Ruth -- yes, it is a little like curry, though I've never grown it before.

Helen -- isn't that always the case - some things others grow easily I keep killing too!

Janet -- I have another kind as well, but they are passalongs and I'm not sure of the variety.

Katina -- oh, you remembered! I've moved it to a place where it can be huge and be happy!

Linda -- yes, the deer resistance is a plus, as is the growth habit. Just wish I hadn't planted it under a thorny tree!

Ally said...

I guess we both got the same rogue strain of artemesia. I pruned mine into a neat little form in the spring, but it's already trying to rule the world all over again. I should have planted it next to my 4 o'clocks and let them duke it out.

Gail said...

Diana, Wowzer, that's one happy plant. It does add a nice bit of color and texture...

Diana said...

Ally - It's a lot of work to prune over and over. I spent an entire hour out there in 95 degree heat working on that one and still didn't get as far as I wanted!

Gail - It is happy, isn't it? I suppose I shouldn't complain!

Laura said...

I love this artemesia as well. I was amazed at how much mine grew just this spring. Seeing yours I guess there's still a ways to go. Wow! I will definitely be putting a few in the front where they can have as much space as they'd like.

Diana said...

Laura - Well, I had to hand water this bed a lot to get it going last year. It's not being treated with quite as much kindness this year, so maybe it will hold itself in check!

sensiblegardening said...

Your artemesia are huge! I grow then actually very well here in the north but nothing like yours. Love em.