subtitled 'A Tale Of Two Lamiums.'
The beauty of this tale the subtle but oh most pleasing lamium orvala which is a source of much pleasure at the moment. This is a plant that I have never seen in a nursery or garden centre. I bought it a couple of years ago at our local Country Market which over the years has been an excellent source of plants at most reasonable prices. I bought it with some trepidation after my experiences with its relative aka 'The Beast'. However I was reassured by its seller that it does not spread but self seeds in a most considerate manner. Now two years on this plant has filled out and is giving me much pleasure this spring. It seems easy to grow and its hooded dusky pink flowers have fascinating markings ~
In her book 'Plant Personalities' Carol Klein describes it so ~ "Lamium orvala is devastatingly gorgeous, a must have plant. Those seeing this dead nettle for the first time are invariably enraptured. Again, it does not thrust itself forward, but relies on its inherent grace and its dark good looks to attract admirers. Each flower consists of a deep bowl into which pollinating insects are invited via a broad landing pad, spotted and marked like the lights on a runway to guide them in". Apparently it grows easily from seed but I still have to find any self - sown seedlings which I would welcome with open arms. It is also possible to take stem cuttings so I will test this out later this year. Lamium orvala's native habitat is woodland margins so it prefers some partial shade. I grow it in an east facing border.
Its not so desirable relative is one of those plants that should come complete with a government health warning. Bewitched by the writing of Margery Fish I was delighted when I originally came across lamium galeobodon variegatum. Its most innocent sounding common name of yellow archangel could not be more misleading. I wrote about it here and now some two years on I am still trying to eradicate it from the garden. This plant creeps and spreads itself about with guile. I have come to the conclusion that digging it out by hand may never work. It's an absolute thug and one that despite its enchanting appearance that you should stay well clear of!
I have noticed this spring to my horror, that this plant is making an attempt at world domination, as it is now creeping up the lane from our house to the main road - time for drastic action methinks.