Baaa, Baaa, Lamb’s Ear

We use soft, lovely lamb’s ear in the potager to border the front so no one will dig in the area of underground wires and pipes.

Lamb’s Ear is attractive and tidy.

It is very hardy, comes back every year, and makes a nice edging.

The soft texture and grey-green leaves are a perfect foil for bright green vegetation.

Our is the variety “Stachys Byzantium” which does not flower and so is great for edging because it stays neat. Plant lamb’s ears carefully because they are considered invasive plants and easily fill in the areas where they are planted.

In the perennial garden around the pool near my office the variety is an old type that gets long stalks.

This old variety of lamb’s ear gets long flower stalks that attract bees.

Lamb’s ear is grown more for the texture and color of its foliage than for its bloom, lamb’s ears does produce light purple flowers on tall spikes. Its texture can be described as “fuzzy” or “velvety” and the foliage has a  silvery color. Flower spikes reach 12″-18″ in height, but the rest of the plant stays much closer to the ground. Certain varieties (like the one we grow at The Glade) don’t get flower spikes.

Unfortunately these flower spikes turn brown and get messy early in the summer.
Lamb’s ear grows in full sun in northerly climes and thrives in poor but well-drained soil. It’s a great plant in the flower border or even as a ground cover.  It mostly dies back in the winter here in Maryland but returns lushly every summer.
What plant or flower do you like for a border?

Sidebar: Stachys the Apostle was the first bishop of Byzantium.


Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

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