The Herb, Lady’s Mantle, Has a Story to Tell

Herbs are working plants–weeds that have gained respectability because they have been found to be useful for something.  Common categories are cooking herbs, fragrant herbs, medicinal herbs, and household herbs.  Currently, I raise 45 different herbs in all of the above categories, not counting the wild herbs harvested from the fields around us.

Lovely Lady's Mantle

Lovely Lady's Mantle

I also love the history of herbs.  Many have a long and impressive pedigree, having been beneficial to mankind for centuries.  Others have a story to tell steeped in folklore–but what fun to tell the story!  For example, the velvet-leaved Lady’s Mantle above was revered as a medicinal herb for “ladies’ complaints.”  In the morning, I enjoy seeing the dew stand out like beaded diamonds on the velvet leaves.  The ladies of the court in the Middle Ages would collect the dew by cupping the leaves and draining the moisture to use as a facial wash, thinking it would give them a “dewy” complexion.

Besides the lovely shape and large velvet leaves, this midevil plant produces a fluffy chartreuse flower head that can be dried and used in arrangements and wreaths.  It adds a delightful note to cut flower bouquets and is quite long-lasting.  Plant this hardy perennial in partial shade for the best results.  It is one of the few herbs that doesn’t like full sun. 

If you would enjoy more herbal anecdotes, post your comment or questions.   

From the garden,

Sharon

About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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