After a summer of watching her grow and hugging her every time I walked past her in the garden, my Sweet Annie's tiny golden balls indicate that she is ready to be harvested!
She'll be wonderful for fall arrangements, wreaths and swags. Her golden color adds a perfect warmth to autumn decor!
Be sure to cut her in the morning and after the dew has dried. Inspire of her delicate look, her branches become thick and hardened so you'll need heavy garden shears. Cut close to the ground and leave one of the lowest branches on the plant so it can develop seeds for your next year's garden. Sweet Annie is an annual and grows easily from seed. Actually, your challenge will be in having too many plants since you'll only need a few for personal use. This harvest is from three plants and you can see how prolific she is. You can always share!
Oh, one word of caution. Occasionally there are people who are sensitive to her fragrance and develop allergies and headaches. And I've heard of people developing a rash similar to poison ivy if they are allergic, but have never spoken with anyone who experienced problems.
Sweet Annie is happiest drying in a dark area. Drying time varies from one week to several. I'll keep you posted on how mine dries and I usually begin making my arrangements and wreaths before she is brittle. More to come!
If you want to keep her looking fresh and retaining more of a green color, you can use glycerin. Mix one part glycerin to three or four parts of water and stand her in a vase to absorb it. Glycerin is expensive and this is most practical for small batches. Either way is a lovely option!
My home is filled with light, which I love, but one of my challenges is finding a place out of direct sunlight to for the drying process. Here she is in my hallway, filling the upstairs with her delightful fragrance! She's delighted me all summer and will continue into fall and winter!
The miracle of a single seed never ceases to amaze me!
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!