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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Strength in Numbers!

In 480 BC, Queen Artemisia commanded 5 battle ships as a Persian ally, during the Greco-Persian wars.  "What a Woman, you say!"  That's many of us are aware that this woman could have been one of the women's lib pioneers?  Not me...I knew nothing of her existence until just recently.

~Queen Artemisia

Even with a grown son, Artemisia took the throne after her husband's death.  And, as the ruler of Halicarnassas, Artemisia decided to participate in the battle at Salamis.  She was fighting for Xerxes I, the Greek King of Persia, against the free Greek states, and commanded her best 5 ships to enter into the expedition with her.  She chose to commandeer the most reputable ships in the fleet, that would present the bravest and, most notable warriors. Xerxes later praised Artemisia for her brave and wise suggestion that he maintain a low profile during the war, saying, "Spare thy ships, and do not risk a battle."   Hence, the opposition became wary of this and retreated back to their posts.  Artemisia commenced to fight as a soldier, and, the enemy's plan to capture her failed.
Xerxes presented Artemisia with a complete suit of Greek armour.  He held her in great esteem, exclaiming that through her brave and manly actions, she excelled above all officers in the fleet.

As the story goes, after the war at Salamis, Artemisia fell in love with a younger man named Dardanus.  The gentleman did not return her love, and, by the advice of an oracle, Artemisia jumped to her death from a cliff.

*** Sooo...I guess you're wondering---

"What has this got with the price of beans, or the herb of the year?"

Really?  You don't know?  Well, that's what I"M here for!  From the Western Reserve Herb Society comes the announcement of the herb of the year for 2014!

the Envelope please!

The herb Artemisia has been mentioned and used in popular culture for centuries.  This herb has between 200 and 400 species belonging to the daisy family, Asteraceae, aka 'mugwort', 'wormwood', and 'sagebrush'.  Most of the species have strong aromas and bitter tastes, however, the aromatic leaves of some species are used for flavouring.

*  Dracunculus, aka tarragon is widely used as a culinary herb, important in French cuisine.  It is a good source of iron for both men and women, and promotes normal heart and muscle function.  It also supplies a small amount of vitamin A for the eyes.

* Wormwood, highly potent spirits absinthe and Malort contain all have heard of taking bitters before meals, I'm sure!  It is used to stimulate the digestive system. It is also used to brew beer and distill alcohol.  But beware!!!  Prolonged use of this Artemisia species can cause mental impairment and loss of reproductive function.

* Dusty Miller * photo by Suzanne * Fort Worth, Texas

* Artemisia stelleriana is known as Dusty Miller, also a member of the Daisy family.  Hey!  I've had Dusty Miller!  See in my photo how silvery it is?  I took this picture at night, and, it almost glows! I have it flanked with red and white bordered Dianthus in the center, and a darker red Dianthus to the right of that little green frog.  The iris foliage makes a great back drop for this garden! Dust Miller stays alive pretty much year round, and thrives in almost any well drained soil with good light.

* Artemisia annua, aka sweet wormwood, sweet annie, boasts a single stem with fern-like leaves, yellow flowers, and a campho-like scent.  This plant and its derivatives are a group of compounds with the most rapid action of all current drugs and now are standard treatment worldwide for malaria.  


Well,  what do you think?  Strength in numbers?  Queen Artemisia used 5 battle ships (a lot of soldiers) to conquer the war at Salamis, and, I can't begin to describe all of the species and uses of the herb Artemisia to you.  The name Artemisia ultimately comes from the Greek goddess Artemis.  And, we do know that some of the species have aromatic leaves used for flavoring, albeit, they have a bitter taste.  And, some of the species are grown as ornamental plants like my Dusty Miller.

*** It's no wonder this herb was chosen for Herb of the Year ***

By the way...Artemisia is also used as home decor in floral arrangements!

Isn't this a nice one?

Thank you so much for taking the time to come by and see me.  I know I haven't been around much lately, but, I do keep up with all of your blogs, and enjoy hearing from you.  Everyone cleverly presents their news with exciting photos and captions...what is so much fun, are the stories behind the photos!  Even if the illustrations are not actually photos that you have taken, you bring them to life and make them speak, and, I always feel as though I am right there with you...ah, wishful thinking, eh?

My Thanks Goes out to:

* So, I say thank you once again, my gracious readers, and, please stop by anytime!  Everyone is welcome to come and browse, and say hello!  I mean...where else can you get two stories in one?  Haha! 

"Eventually all of the pieces fall into place.
Until then, laugh at the confusion,
Live for the moment, and,
Know that everything happens for a reason."

'Till next time, I remain your faithful servant...
Be safe, give Love

I'll be BAHCK!!!


  1. Hi Suzanne, first of all thank you for always visiting my blog and leaving your delightful comments. I know your life is busy and I appreciate the time you give to your blogfriends. I value being counted as one of them :D)

    I really enjoyed becoming informed about Atemesia - both the herb as well as the woman and, oh yes, what a woman! How strong in determination and will must she have been way back then ... 480 BC - wow. I love that second photograph of her - for all her warrior ways, her portrait also includes flowers, in other words - her feminine side is also celebrated. It was so sad that her life ended in a lovelorn state though wasn't it. I do really love it when stories of the deeds of women emerge and are celebrated. I was recently reading the accounts of nurses during ww1 - truly unsung heroines for a long time. There are so many instances but it takes someone sufficiently interested to unearth them. Congratulations Suzanne on this wonderful post.
    I do love herbs, for their healing and health-giving properties and also for the delicate flowers they produce. I'm sure they're a double-treat for the bees - they gather not only nectar but really super nectar in the case of herbs :D)

    I remember when you first posted that photo of your Dusty Miller. It's such a pretty lacy-type plant isn't it. Thanks too for all the info on the varieties of herbs you've included from that family. I have used Tarragon quite a bit in the past - it's delightful in a creamy sauce with chicken.

    It's good that herbs are being recognised as an alternative to (or an ally of) conventional medications. Don't get me wrong, MD and I value the worth of conventionals, of course, and we would be in a mess without them, however, it is good to read for instance about the Sweet Wormwood being used in the treatment of malaria as you say.

    I have gone on at length, but it's so nice to be in contact with you through your blog. I hope you are enjoying your Sunday and that you have a great week ahead.

    Cheerio for now and the kindest regards :D) xx

    1. Hi Susan...I just don't know what to say. Thank you so much for your continued friendship and visits to my blogs! You know, I am so pleased to have found comrades that have so many interests in common, but, each one of us is unique in our talents, hobbies and skills.

      And, we have learned from each other! Your painting techniques, especially the new one you displayed the other night, are fascinating! And, look what you did with yours! Thank you for enjoying my post.

      I agree with you about the herbs. I grow rosemary and thyme, have also raised chamomile, oregano and cilantro. I don't get the best results, but, oh, the fragrances are the mos enjoyable!

      And, who knows how many women actually led the way for future accomplishments by our generation? Female warriors, commanding battleships? Women working in machine shops during WWI? And, so many others! As you say, we could go on, haha!

      I'm so proud to know you and I adore your lake photos, George the Pelican and all! Thank you for stopping by...see you soon! Hugs!

  2. Hey there, dear Suzanne! Same Day Shady reporting for duty! I was wondering where you were going with your Tales of Brave Ulysses...uh... I mean tales of brave Artemisia. The history lesson was a good idea to lead into an article about the herb of the year, Artemisia (which narrowly defeated Herb Alpert :) I just checked with Mrs. Shady and she says she has tarragon planted in her herb garden.

    I knew you had a Scootie Potter but I didn't know you had a Dusty Miller! :) What a fabulous display you've got and everything shows up nicely in that picture taken at night. Beautiful!

    Well this was a marvelous post and I learned a lot from it this evening, Suzanne. I hope your weather is gently easing into spring now and that there won't be any more tornado outbreaks to worry about. We're hitting the mid 80s on a regular basis now and the sun is baking the lawns. Brush and muck fires will soon follow unless we get more rain. Can you help in that regard? :)

    Good night and have a wonderful week ahead, dear friend Suzanne!

    1. Shady Dearest! I'll bet you didn't miss a day of school! Well, I didn't, what's my excuse now? I guess you know that's 'blog security', lol! I've never tried to raise tarragon, but, have used it frequently. I've had trouble trying to grow some herbs, so, I just do a few at a time, and, I have the best luck with rosemary.

      I'm glad you enjoyed this post, and appreciate the pun on dusty and Scootie! You are very good at that...see what you teach us?

      Sorry, I'm just now getting around here-it's been Monday all day and nite!

      We are having rain,and I can't believe -I mean, did you ever have a winter? You poor thing! And, luckily we have had a bit of rain these past few days. Tornadoes have gone around us for now, I know there's still time...keeping my fingers crossed. I will send rain chants your way! Thank you so much for coming by and, for your comments. See you soon! ♫

  3. Interesting post, Suzanne.

    Especially like that Dusty Miller photo taken at night. Amazing how it glows. Maybe it's white is some sort of warning, or maybe just a torch for night critters? I lost mine several years ago in winter, so will replace it this year, thanks to this reminder.

    1. Hi Nancy, I really enjoy the Dusty Miller, but sometimes it gets too big, and not so pretty, so I cut it back. You can also take cuttings for new plantings. Love your comment as it is a torch for night critters! That could be it! I was very surprised that it stood out so bright in that night photo!

      Thank you for coming by. I hope you and yours are doing well. I do think of Julie, and how strong you both are. Have a great week Nancy! ♥

  4. Hi there Suzanne. Forgive me for my lateness. I'm afraid that I'm all behind with my blogging. Life, I'm afraid, keeps getting in the way!! Like the others, I loved your Dusty Miller plant. What a great photo. Well, who would have known about Artemesia. I'm afraid that I must be very ignorant, as I had never heard of Artemesia the woman, or Artemesia the herb. What fascinating information on both counts. You might not appear here very often but, my goodness, when you do, your posts are well worth the read. Again, little Texan friend, please forgive my lateness. Hugs.

    1. Hi Thisisme. It's okay to be late-I do it all the time, haha! And, I know where your, of course. I know I don't get here as often as I would like, but, like you said Life gets in the way! And, I try to take turns and give my blogs even chances! How funny! I do love to do research and write a bit about various things, adding my own wise cracks!

      I didn't know about Artemisia the Queen, I have used the herb in flower arrangements, but I did not know the name of it-go figure! And there are so many family members of this herb!

      Thank you so much for popping over, Thisisme, and for your wonderful comments-hope you're having a fabulous week! See you soon!♥


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