Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Charms of Lady's Mantle

One of the most frustrating things I found when I first started to plant my garden was that so many of the gardening books and magazines I relied on for inspiration were based on the east coast and many of the plants that were used are not available in our area. One of those plants was Lady's Mantle (alchemilla mollis) and how I longed to find it because of its tall, lime green flowers that seemed to form a haze that set off other plants perfectly. I finally did find it at Dana Point Nursery and planted it in my Laguna garden where it lived for a few years. It does best in light shade and does require regular water so it needs to be placed where its cultural needs are met. But the thing that I think is most charming about this perennial is that the leaves hold little drops of water for hours and hours, making it a little watering hole for bugs and butterflies. I found it again this year at the Dana Point Nursery and put in a few in my garden by the front door in SJC where it gets a bit of pampering.

8 comments:

danger garden said...

For some strange reason I got it in my head that this was a shade plant. My mother have me a few starts from one of her plants and I put them in deep shade. They lived but didn't flourish. Finally this spring I wised up and moved them into the light. Now I get to enjoy that water droplet feature and the plants are happy and growing, finally!

Dirt Digger said...

Love love these! The ultimate edger which looks great in bloom and not in bloom.

Chicken Boys said...

We do have some beautiful plants and gardens here on the east coast. Of course, I'm not the gardener you are, and I don't have the time to devote to a garden that you do. But I still enjoy the few flowers and flowers shrubs I have. The Lady's Mantle is beautiful.
~Randy

Sheila said...

Danger Garden - I think it depends on where you live. I have seen it listed as a shade plant, but since we are along the coast and it doesn't get too hot here it does well with some sun.

Nancy said...

I have some too in a bed that has mostly shade...It returns faithfully with summer water. It seems unusual in this part of the bay area. Not many seem to have it.

pamsenglishgarden said...

In my attempts to create an English-style garden I eagerly included ladies mantle which is prominent in my mother's garden in England. When I was a child, Mom told me it was so named because each leaf was like a lady's cloak that held the rain drops and kept her dry.

Leslie said...

Hello Sheila,

Your pictures are beautiful and I'm enjoying your blog. Thanks for posting my blog, 3000Tomatoes.com in your blog list! That was a nice surprise to find while I was perusing your blog!

I am in the Master Gardener program in San Diego right now and I'm enjoying that very much.

Happy Gardening!

joey said...

One of my favorite 'must have' perennials!