I've added a drawing of Tansy to my nature journal.
I started this drawing last fall.....
but life has a way of interrupting these things.
I grow Tansy in my garden to harvest the aromatic leaves for sachets.
This is a recent photo of my very tall Tansy plants
growing in my wildflower garden along with Sweet William,
(in bloom now).
Not only does Tansy have aromatic foliage,
but it also has beautiful yellow button flowers.
(photo taken last summer)
These bloom from July to October and can be harvested
to create lovely dried flower arrangements and wreaths.
Common Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) is an upright perennial herb with strongly aromatic, fernlike green leaves whose aroma reminds some people of pine, others of camphor. Under favorable conditions, the plant may reach 5 feet, but 3 feet is more likely.
The seed heads persist through winter and in spring drop to the ground to form a new generation. (It can also be divided.) Common Tansy is a native of Europe and Asia and was brought to this country by the Puritans in the 17th century and is now naturalized in much of Canada and the Untied States.
Tansy is an old herb, used for many medicinal purposes, but today it is considered toxic and potentially fatal if consumed internally. The essential oils can irritate skin, causing contact dermatitis, and it is recommended that you wear gloves when handling Tansy.
Tansy was a common strewing herb and has a great reputation for repelling ants and moths.
For that reason, I use my harvest of tansy to create moth sachets and I also strew it about my shed to repel mice. It seems to work!
Tansy is very easy to grow in all types of soil, but prefers moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. It grows so rampantly, that a better choice may be to put it in an area with poor soil to keep it within bounds. It will grow in sun to part shade and is best kept at the back of the border against a fence to keep it from flopping over in wind and rain. (I use stakes and twine to keep mine upright)
Extra Tansy can be a potassium-rich addition to the compost pile and can also be made into a tansy tea to water your houseplants. (A handful of leaves to a pint of boiling water)
Harvesting Tansy is simple. In the fall just cut the long stalks and place them on a tarp.
Then, wearing gloves, simply strip the leaves from the stalks and pile them in a large, open basket. Place the basket in a warm, dry room, away from direct sunlight and fluff the pile twice a day, or more, allowing good air circulation.
The leaves should dry within a week or so. I store them in a dry, dark place until ready to use.
Separate the flowers and seed heads from the leaves. The darker colored heads are saved for seeds, the lighter colored ones are saved for dried flowers.
When I am ready to use the dried leaves for sachets, wearing surgical or painter's gloves, I strip all the tiny leaves from the remaining stalks and crumple them until fine.
I make a mix of half lavender and half tansy to create moth sachets.
You can find seeds for growing Tansy Here.
Keep in mind that these are considered invasive, but if you have a large area where nothing will grow, Tansy is a good choice. It is deer and pest proof, and is a good companion plant for raspberries, fruit trees, and some vegetables to control ants, aphids, squash bugs and various beetles and caterpillars.
This is my 500th post! Thank you, Dear Friends for following my little blog. You have been there through good times and bad, let me share my crafts, cooking, decorating, writing, photos, and life with you - always being supportive and encouraging. I have learned so much from all of you and shared in your lives and creativity, and consider you all a part of my world.
Thank you for being there.
It means so much.
You are the reason why.