Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for Lamb's ear and Lungwort


Lamb's ear, with hardy geranium in the background



front garden, lamb's ear on left of sidewalk
Lamb's ear in bloom
Weeding:  Besides plants with purple or yellow flowers, I also enjoy plants with interesting leaves.  Two of the interesting leaf plants that I like happen to start with "L".  Lamb's ear (official name 'Stachys') is just as soft as it sounds.  The leaves are fuzzy and silvery-colored.  It gets pink spikes of flowers but they are just an added bonus.  A word of caution about lamb's ear, though.  A little will become a lot. It makes a nice groundcover, and as with many groundcovers, it will cover a lot of ground if you let it.  It spreads by roots, shoots and seeds.  I started out with a normal sized plant and now have a large mass of it in the front bed (might make a soft little place to sit!), a growing patch of it on the side of the garage (transplanted from the mother mass), and little sproutlets all around both areas.  If you don't want it to reseed, cut the flowers off.  And if it is growing where you don't want it to be, rip it out.  But I love it for its soft leaves that aren't quite green.  Sometimes, if everything is the same color, it all blends together. 

Lungwort with hostas and ajuga
The next plant comes first with a bit of a rant about hosta. I know there are 10 million different kinds of hosta and everyone and their brother who has a shady spot in their yard grows at least one hosta, but I am not a fan. I think they just look like big lettuce plants and if I wanted that, I would grow lettuce - at least I could eat it then. The other part of my aversion to them probably stems from my neighbor across the street. She planted approximately 5000 hostas, all the same kind, in a kind of tutu around the mature evergreen trees in her yard. It is one of the least inspired landscapes I have seen. I have a few hosta that I acquired before deciding that I didn't like them. They may go to new homes eventually but that part of the yard (the "stump garden" named for the stump that used to be there until last summer when it finally got ground out) is a major work in progress. So anyway... (if you are still with me after that) what else can we grow in that shady spot? How about Lungwort (official name 'Pulmonaria')? It gets pink flowers but this is one I grow mainly for the leaves. There are different types, but the ones I have are dark green with splashes of silver and are very textural.

lungwort (on the left)

There you have 2 new plants to check out.

Until we weed again,
Hallie

3 comments:

Kate O'Mara said...

Absolutely wonderful! I love Lamb's Ear, isn't so soft. Your garden is lovely!
Kate
A to Z http://solidhappiness.blogspot.com/

Hallie said...

Kate--
Thanks for stopping by and for the complements on my garden. Sometimes it feels like it is a jungle of a garden, and always a work in progress but I guess that is the nature of it!

Kylie said...

I love Lamb's Ear too. It's hard to stop feeling those leaves once you start!

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