Dusty Miller (Artemisia stelleriana), shown here in full sun, provides the inspriation for this study in black and white. It brings to mind my cottage garden at twilight on a soft summer's evening.

I love that moment just before full darkness when the night moths flutter to the lamps and the little owl who lives in the oak across the lane calls plaintively to announce her presense. Such a sense of peace!

Silver-gray artemisias offer a pleasing contrast to other plants in the garden. Artemisia stelleriana (dusty miller, or old woman) is often sold as an annual bedding plant.

     This graphic collection is taken from the colors and textures found in the leaves, stems and flowers of the delightful "old woman" in my garden.

     The background represents a section of stem, scanned and styled as a seamless tile. As you can tell from the photos, a very dark, almost black, green is an appropriate accompaniment to the silver of the plant... probably because it is so bright in the sun shine, it makes the surrounding area look even darker

     Before we moved to California, I thought of it as a small, somewhat delicate white accent plant for my summer flower beds. Winter tender and finicky in my Colorado garden, my plantings often did not survive July and August, much less the fall and winter. NOW, as a California gardener, I understand why. Like her more refined cousins, stelleriana is a perennial! The old woman likes our warm, dry climate, and spends her strength establishing roots the first season. The second season she creeps into the surrounding plantings and pokes her yellow flowers up thorough the borders. The third summer she is firmly established, standing tall at the back of the beds, lending her wonderful color and texture to whatever bright flower I choose to put in front of her

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