Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yarrow


Yarrow is on of those fool-proof perennials that works in most any garden. While it does spread, it is light and airy and the secretions from its roots actually increase the disease resistance of nearby plants! One leaf will help speed up the decomposition of one wheelbarrow load of plant material making it quite useful for those who compost. In the garden, yarrow helps repel, flies, Japanese beetles and ants.
The proper name, achillea millefolium, comes from the warrior Achilles who used the plant to staunch the blood flow in his wounded warriors. In the language of flowers yarrow represents "health".
The Druids used yarrow to divine seasonal weather and it is used to foretell the future with the assistance of IChing.
Personally, I like to dry it for use in flower arrangements. The white variety adds a nice lightness to compositions while the yellow variety adds a substantial golden pop. All varieties of yarrow are easy to dry. Gather small bunches, wrap the base of the stems together with a rubber band and hang upside down in a warm, dry, dark place until dry.

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