Alchemilla mollis: distinctive fresh green leaves and lovely 'foams' of acid-green flowers
A low-growing, clump-forming perennial, Alchemilla mollis is also known by the common name of ‘Lady’s Mantle’. It has attractive large rosette-shaped mid-green leaves, and plentiful 'foams' of tiny acid-green/yellow flowers. Few plants look better after a burst of rain, with droplets of water sitting on its fresh green leaves and shining like beads of mercury.
Although happiest in well-drained moist soils and ideally in a sunny position, A. mollis will actually grow pretty much anywhere. This includes quite deep shade and those awkward drier parts of a garden. It tends to begin flowering in early June, and will then keep on perform well into autumn before the flowers slowly begin to fade to brown. It can be refreshed in mid- to late summer, however, by simply cutting back all of the foliage and flowers hard down to the ground. This encourages fresh new growth and an additional display of bright yellow flowers.
A. mollis seeds and spreads itself readily, which obviously isn't to everyone’s taste. But for a garden designer like me this is actually a particularly useful trait- it can add a sense of movement and continuity in a mixed planting scheme. It can also really helps to tie a garden together, whether that’s by drifting through other plants or simply through the repetition (unity) provided by multiple clumps throughout the garden. The new seedlings are pretty easy to spot, so it's no great task keeping it in check if it starts to encroach too much.
Versatile, robust, long-lasting and excellent ground cover, A. mollis is, in my view at least, an essential part of any June garden. I wouldn’t be without it in my own garden here in south Lincolnshire, and it is always one of the first plants I include when I’m designing a planting plan for my garden design customers. If you don’t have Alchemilla in your garden yet I really would urge you to consider adding it soon.
Tythorne Garden Design provides professional fixed-fee garden design solutions for customers in Grantham, Stamford, Newark and surrounding areas. Let's see how we can help you to enjoy your garden more. Call us on 07900 224 239 or 01529 455 355.