Early each spring, when I begin cleaning up and weeding our garden beds, I tell myself that as soon as the sodden clay soil in the perennial bed dries out just a bit, I should dig up most of the Lady’s Mantle.
For despite its genteel name, in our garden this muscular plant is highly invasive. Its roots take hold with superglue strength, its foliage spreads like wildfire, and it readily self-sows if its flower heads aren’t cut off quickly. No matter how hard I’ve tried to keep it in check, Lady’s Mantle has had the nasty habit of crowding out other, more delicate flower species that I’d hoped would flourish.
So each spring I say to myself, “Enough!”
But then it rains – and I can’t help but notice the sheer beauty that emerges when water droplets shine like strings of pearls along the edges of the Lady Mantle’s water-repellent leaves. Apparently I’m not the only one who has appreciated this: according to Wikipedia, alchemists used these beads of water, which they considered to be totally pure, in their efforts to turn base metals into gold (thus giving rise to the plant’s Latin name, Alchemilla mollis).
It rained the other night. So once again, the Lady’s Mantle has won a reprieve.