One of the purposes of this garden was to supply sagebrush, sweet grass & tobacco for ceremonial use at St. Mary’s University, for example smudging.

Above, you can see the healthy growth of sagebrush – prairie sage (Artemisia ludoviciana) & silver sage (Artemisia cana). Some stems of these might be tall enough to harvest this fall. Pick a small bit of leaf and roll it between your fingers to see if you can distinguish the two by smell.

The sweet grass (Hierachloe odorata) has established really well & is spreading. Have a look at it sometime & rub a small piece of leaf in your fingers to smell it – it’s very fragrant both fresh or dried. In fact, it’s doing so well, it might take over the garden bed it’s in!


The tobacco transplants are slowly growing roots & regaining vigour. One stem on the right is dying but other stems are recovering. Heat & wind cause rapid evapo-transpiration and plants lose a lot of water in this weather. Root damage from transplanting means the tobacco transplants can’t yet take up enough water to replace that lost water, so they are still under the pots to protect them while they regrow.

Later in the summer we will harvest the leaves to dry and harvest the seeds to share with others.