"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Spot On Lady's Mantle ( Dewcup )

Candy Cat walks along the stone wall , Lady's Mantle ( Alchemilla vulgaris ) is growing on either side of her. Lady's Mantle, or Dewcup, grows well and easily in the shady, sunny, damp, and dry parts of our gardens. Lady's Mantle grows well along the wooded edges, in the driveway, and it pops up in our red stone entrance gardens.
Lady's Mantle is growing here, next to the hostas. Lady's Mantle is very hardy and grows 6 to 20 inches in height ...but it grows bigger in our gardens. If you click on the picture below , it will enlarge and you can clearly see the dew drops that collect in this plant and will glisten like diamonds when the sun catches them.
"From "little magical one" , the Arab alkemelych ( alchemy ) comes Alchemilla, so-called because of this herb's healing reputation and the dew that collects in each enfolding leaf. The crystal drops of dew have long inspired poets and alchemists and were part of many mystic potions. So powerful a herb was acquired by the Christian Church , which named it 'Our Lady's Mantle'." THE COMPLETE BOOK OF HERBS by Leslie Bremness
I read many of my herb books and in all of them Lady's Mantle is recommended as the herb to infuse as a tea and drink to help alleviate "women's troubles". I harvested the leaves of this herb , dried them, and then when the time came I thought I needed some tea of this plant, I quickly changed my mind when I caught a whiff of the smell. YUCK! I decided that the smell alone was enough to make any woman decide she really did not feel so bad after all...
My Lady's Mantle is a lovely plant for our gardens. It is now beginning to bloom. I will take more pictures of it in bloom later. The blooms are gold, and on long stems.
My herb books say that Ladys' Mantle leaves are good for making a green wool dye, I might try that. The leaves are also supposed to be good for making infusions to help skin conditions, under eye puffiness, and to make compresses for healing wounds. I just might try this too . I have used comfrey to heal wounds, and calm irritated skin. But no, no...never, never will I consume this in a tea!
"I would heartily advise all men of meanes , to be stirred up to bend their mindes,
and spend a little more time and travell in these delights,
of herbes and flowers, than they have formerly done,
which are not only harmlesse, but pleasurable in their turn, and profitable in their use. John Parkinson (Theatrum Botanicum 1640 )


Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

My word, Kathy, you gave me a tickle. You decided you didn't feel that bad anyhow...not bad enough for something that smelled that way!

I occasionally take Valerian Root capsules when I have a toss and turn night. I think they smell like dirty feet. I try to swallow them rather quickly!

The Lady's Mantel is rather pretty. I hope the dye works for you. Would be interesting to hear about.

LindaSueBuhl said...

Is the Lady's Mantle invasive as in crowding out the hostas or just very hardy? I love the tea story - something which are 'sposed to be good for us are just too bitter to get past our lips! Will definitely be interested in how it works as a dye - IF I were a person who worked with fabrics and yarns - I'd think natural dyes would be very interesting to work with. As always - you present something interesting.

Shellmo said...

everything looks so beautiful over there!!

Anonymous said...

How very lovely everything looks Kathy. I once had Lady's Mantle and loved the way the beads of water shimmered in the sunlight. Let us know if you try the leaves as a wool dye.

Wobegon Cottage said...

You seem to be a treasure trove of information. I am very impressed. You must read alot I am trying to , I think it will help my brain from going to mush.

KathyB. said...

Mary, I have never tried valerian root capsules, and the smell does seem a turn -off, but then , I love smelly cheeses....

Linda Sue, yes. Lady's Mantle can be invasive. It has been growing up and over our hostas, and I have been cutting it back. I have a lot of Ladys' Mantle in places I want it to invade. It has not been too hard to weed out when I want to.

Shellmo, thank-you.

Mildred, Mary, and Linda Sue, I will try it as a dye, and I have some other plants I want to try to make dyes from also. I even have the book on making dyes from herbs and plants.

Wobegon Cottage, I don't foresee your brain going to mush anytime soon. You're too busy keeping up with your grandchildren!

Daisy said...

Interesting post, Kathy, and you made me smile too saying you didn't feel that bad after all. HA!

audrey y said...

I appreciate your description of the Lady's Mantle, (and all the other plants)Makes me wish I had more knowledge on the subject

As for the Ugh!possum, he looks too mean to me.

I had a friend who kept one under her kitchen sink, honest. I know they are supposed to be cowards but I wouldn't want to put it to the test.

P.S. I never went in my friends kitchen.


Leslie said...

Your pictures are beautiful. I love gardens that are a thick mixture of textures and colors. I am always looking for a good filler plant, this is a nice looking one.

KathyB. said...

Daisy, I think that is how little children feel when it comes to taking their medicine....better!

Audrey, I am an animal nut, but even I cannot conceive of keeping a possum under the sink, on the other hand, the lady did not need to worry about roaches, and the possum would also eat the garbage...yuck.

Leslie, I think Lady's Mantle would do well for you....it is worth a try!

A. Joy said...

Remember when I named one of my white mini lops 'Lady's Mantle'?

Karen said...

I enjoyed your post. With all the rain here, the flowers are really beginning to look pretty and full.

Farm Chick Paula said...

That is such a beautiful garden, Kathy!
I had to chuckle at you NOT wanting to try the tea!