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Artemisia abrotanum / Southernwood

I was just wondering why is Artemisia abrotanum / Southernwood not seen in any gardening programs or magazines. I am a fan of this shrub and for me it beats lavender any day but it seems not to be that popular. It will survive warm dry summers, wet summers, shade and full sun but it seems not to like peaty soils but will grow anywhere else and survive anything else. I love the smell and feel of this plant, so why is it not more popular?


  • I have grown this in my garden foe 5years+. My husband chops it back as we have a very small plot but it comes right back.It has a delightful smell when brushed or crushed and I give cuttings away to all and sundry.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,361

    is this the one we called Lad'sLove?

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,361

    I'd forgotten that one. Plants of yesteryear, good idea. 

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • I think I have a thing for the Artemisia family now thanks to Southernwood / Lad's Love, now I am growing Artemisia scoparia. It seems a large family but the old Southerwood is the best...

  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,502

    I have this and love it. I got mine many years ago by pinching a cutting from a front garden in Arnside, on a day out with MiLimage  It was encroaching on the footpath, honestimage

    I currently  have two cuttings from the original, one planted by some steps and the other sitting in a pot till I find another good place for it. I like to brush it with my hand as I go past. It makes a good foil for other brighter plants and can be kept pruned so it doesn't get unwieldy.

    As for plants of yesteryear, one I remember from my childhood garden was pyrethrum. I loved the bright red daisy flowers and it reappeared every summer without fail. I have tried a couple of times to establish it here, but without success. Maybe we were lucky, but I cannot recall ever seeing it used anywhere else, and it isn't regularly on sale in the average GC.

    Garden pinks are still around, but they seem to have become rather a 'niche' plant for alpine specialists or collectors, rather than the usual edging for a garden border like old Mrs Simkins. Another one with a wonderful perfumeimage

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