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BellaOnline's English Garden Editor

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Lady's Mantle

Guest Author - Hellie T.

Alchemilla mollis is a lovely traditional English Garden perennial. It is usually known by its common name - Lady’s mantle. Other interesting names include Lion's Foot, Bear's Foot and Dewcup.

In sixteenth century it was called Our Lady’s mantle.
This was later shortened to Lady’s mantle - the Lady in question being the Virgin Mary. People thought that the lobes of the leaves very similar to the scalloped edges of the mantle or cloak that the Virgin Mary wore.

The flowers appear from June to September as clusters of little yellow blooms and the soft grey blue-green, lobed leaves look like velvet.( Click here to find other yellow flowering English Garden perennials)

The best feature of this plant is that these leaves are covered in fine hairs. So after a heavy dew or rain, little drops of sparkling water hang on its leaves. They look like magic!

Indeed, in days of yore they were thought to have magical properties - being used in all sorts of spells and potions, especially love potions.

Lady's Mantle is a very easy English Garden perennial to grow.

  • It prefers a sunny spot in well drained soil , although it is very good natured and will also grow well in partial shade.
  • If you have really hot summers then give it a bit if shade from the noon day sun.
  • It will grow to approx 24 in. (60 cm).

  • It happily self seeds ( some would say invasive!) but the little plants can be dug up and replanted or given away without coming to harm, as long as they are watered in at their new home.
  • Seeds should be planted from mid-March to early May.

  • Use as ground cover or under roses
  • Or as a useful filler in borders and beds.
  • It looks good planted en masse or used as edging for wider paths

  • Grow it amongst deep blue and white perennials for best effect or try it with the pinky purple flowers of chives.
  • For dramatic contrast and texture - grow it next to a large leaved grey blue hosta

  • The little yellow blooms last well in water and go well with a variety of cut flowers.
  • The flowers can also be cut and dried for autumn arrangements.
Nicholas Culpepper in mid sixteenth century wrote that Lady’s mantle could be used to treat a wealth of ailments including sickness and bruises as well as reducing large breasts if outwardly applied! Though I don’t recommend that you try this today!

Plant some Lady’s mantle in your English Garden today and Enjoy

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Content copyright © 2014 by Hellie T.. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Hellie T.. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Carol Chernega for details.

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