Sunny dis­plays with yel­low tansy

With their in­tense yel­low flow­ers, tansy, Tanace­tum vul­gare, shine brighter than the Au­gust sun

Landscape (UK) - - Contents -

heal­ing herb

A peren­nial in the Aster fam­ily, tansy has not only been cul­ti­vated for or­na­men­tal pur­poses but has been used in cook­ery and medicine. Tansy cakes and pud­dings were of­ten served at Easter, ref­er­enc­ing the bit­ter herbs eaten over the Jew­ish Passover. Its aro­matic dark leaves added flavour to omelettes, and in York­shire, its seeds were tra­di­tion­ally used in bis­cuits served at fu­ner­als. Tansy tea was for­merly a house­hold medicine for ail­ments in­clud­ing rheuma­tism, di­ges­tive prob­lems, fevers and sores, and is still used in the treat­ment of bruises and in­flam­ma­tion. It also acts as an in­sect re­pel­lent, and the flow­ers were once placed in coffins.

Worked into a cir­cu­lar wreath, the flat, disc-like shape of tansy flow­er­heads cre­ate a dense band of colour.

A ca­nary-coloured cup of sun­shine. The softly rounded flow­ers of Tanace­tum vul­gare are in­ter­spersed with con­trast­ing nar­row­petalled Senecio ja­cobaea, Lysi­machia and Cal­en­dula. Up­turned fun­nels form un­usual con­tain­ers for dainty sprigs of tansy next to a larger dis­play.

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