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Thursday, June 24, 2010

A perfect match made in nature


Lady's Mantle and Icelandic Poppies bloom in my garden at the same time. The chartreuse green of the Lady's Mantle and the brillant colors of Icelandic Poppies make for a very colorful and happy combination
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One caveat; you MUST remember to singe the stems of Poppies over a flame for 10 seconds before placing them into water.




Lady's Mantle, alchemilla vulgaris, self seeds in my garden showing up in unexpected places. Large leaves hold water droplets which glisten in the sun, pretending to be little jewels.


The plant contains salicyllic acid used for treating wounds to prevent infection. It is also known as the woman's healing herb, hence the common name Lady's Mantle.



As a young girl I gathered a different alchemilla plant for our local apothecary. Our pharmacist used the dried herb as a medicine to lower high blood pressure.





Icelandic Poppy, papaver nudicaule, is grown as a biennial and is hardy to zone three. All parts of the plant are poisonous containing toxic alkaloids.

Gina

23 comments:

  1. So many secrets to learn about the vegetable world!

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  2. I have never grown poppies. I don't know why, although I think they are one of the prettiest flowers.

    Can you tell me more? I also don't grow many biennials. Plant the seeds the first year, watch them grow and then the flowers arrive the following year?

    I love how the Lady's Mantle leaves catch the water droplets. Precious.

    Your property looks incredible. You have the advantage of being close to the earth, if you know what I mean.

    -Ann

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  3. Oh my goodness do I ever love your site. Your art is exquisite! I found my self jumping from one post to the next...your home, your kitchen, your alpha...I love it all! I must return and go through all of your back posts. To answer your question about the pears grown in the bottles, the tops are left open and when I saw them the bottles were free of pests. I don't know whether they spray, but my guess would be "no"as the rest of their garden is pesticide free. I won't spray my plums either and will just have to see how it goes. I have never had a problem with bugs on my plums; however, I have noticed some little holes eaten in the leaves this year. I'll keep all of you posted. So great to meet you!

    ~jermaine~

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  4. Dear Francesca, Alfalfa is a very interesting crop. Sometimes Alfalfa goes "bad" because it was baled when it was not quite dry. It is then not good as fodder for the animals but becomes a superior soil amendment.

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  5. Dear Ann, Poppies are very easy to grow. My most favorite variety is the Shirley Poppy. It is an annual variety. It is not too late to sow them into the ground this year. They will bloom and once you have them in your garden they will self seed every year thereafter. The Icelandic Poppy (shown above) is really a prennial but treated as a bi-annual. Purchase them in small plants from the garden center and you will have them blooming this year.
    Then there is the very showy Perennial Poppy (Oriental Poppy) which has very large and impressive blooms. There are so many varieties of poppies and they all have one thing in common, they readily self seed and become a welcome surprise in your garden.

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  6. Dear Jermaine, Welcome to my blog and thank you for your very nice compliments. Also, thank you for your reply about the pears in the bottle. I am fascinated by the idea and want to try it again. It is our apples and pears that the fruit moth attacks. The plums have little damage in our garden.
    We have tried a natural pesticide last year that has helped some. Our pears are still small enough so, thanks to you, we are going to give it another try.

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  7. Found you thru French kissed.......so glad I did. After reading your profile...you sounded like an incredibly interesting woman. Glad to meet you. By the way, your flowers are glorious as well as your art.

    Jo

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  8. I did not know about needing to singe the stem base before putting in water! I grew poppies for years...large plots of double blooms...they are so lovely to watch bloom.

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  9. Hello Jo, welcome! So glad to see you here. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  10. Dear Theresa, Poppies are one of those over-the-top flowers and double blooms are even more sensational. Next time you grow them try my trick. It is the only way to keep them from collapsing. Many other flowers benefit from the same treatment. Hollyhocks, for instance. Because they are so showy they add so much to a mixed flower bouquet.

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  11. I found you through Candy's blog and I must say you have an interesting life! You live in a magnificent part of the country and I hope to visit Utah one day. The scenery is so spectacular. Gina, if I may impose, can you suggest flowers that I can plant both in the ground and also in containers, that will come up every year, at varying times that will thrive in the Northeast? I live in one of the boroughs of NYC. I am getting a little bored of begonias! Thanks so much, xo

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  12. How beautiful! Lovely flowers and lovely pictures. I love Ladies Mantle but it doesn't grow well for me...chartruse plants are a wonderful color in the garden.

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  13. Thanks so much for joining the garden party!

    Love lady's mantle and also love finding it in surprising new locations. :-) We get a lot of wind here at the new garden and I'm not having much luck with my poppies that get knocked down everytime to try to survive.

    Candy

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  14. Dear Barbara, Thank you for visiting. Because you do well with begonias you must have a lot of shade. Are they fibrous or tuberous begonias? As far as Perrenials for the NE are concerned, these are a few standbys: Single Daisies, Rudbeckias, Astrantia, Dianthus, Echinacia, Perennial Foxglove, Delphiums,Day Lillies, Anenomies, Lupins (they don't grow for me) and for a little structure, Artichoke plants, they are very architectural.

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  15. Hi La Vie, If you like chartreuse and Ladies Mantle doesn't work, try Bupleurum, also called green gold. It grows easily from seed and reseeds itself every year. It also makes a great filler for any kind of summer buquet.

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  16. Hi Candy, Isn't Ladies Mantle amazing, it self seeds in surprising places. It also transplants easily. If you have not had good luck with most poppies, try Shirly Poppies from seed. We have very strong winds and Shirley poppies do not mind and they come in the most amazing colors.

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  17. Thanks so much for getting back, Gina. I visited your Etsy shop, I am so impressed, you are one of God's extra special people. So much unbelievable talent. I have a question, do you have a tile with a lioness? I am a Leo, and I would love something like that. xo,

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  18. Dear Barbara, Thank you for visiting my Etsy shop and thank you also for being so generous with your compliments. I do a have lion tile...an old Italian design of a Venetian, San Marcos Tile. I can send you a picture or I can list it in my Etsy shop. But I can always paint a tile just for you.

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  19. Hi Barbara, I can always paint aLlioness tile for you. I do have a lion tile that is 6x6 inches which depicts the lion of San Marco, Venice.

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  20. Your poppies are lovely. I definitely need to add some to my garden. The ladies mantle in green is a nice compliment. Nancy H

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  21. Beautiful Poppies, one of the few flowers we have never grown!

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  22. Oh! These are stunning! You should share them at the next Fresh-Cut Friday! :)

    Have a great week!
    ~Liz

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  23. Thank you for the invitation Liz, I will put it on my calendar.

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