Thursday, July 30, 2009

Like, OMG, Lamb's Ear is like, sooooo cute!

Sorry. My inner teenager popped out there for a minute. Go back to watching MTV Cribs or texting or to the mall!


Say the words "Lamb's Ear" and what immediately comes to mind?

Furry, perfectly white little baby lamb's frolicking in a daisy filled meadow?


Lamb's Ear in the plant world are not as cute but I still love them. They have interesting foliage, are perennial and are easy to grow. An almost perfect plant. Unfortunately, they don't flower, but I guess you can't have it all. (Correction: They DO flower...although mine never have...effing nature...stupid plant..)

Believe it or not Lamb's Ear are actually considered a weed and are extremely invasive in warmer climates. And usually anything considered a weed, well, grows like a weed.

They are called Lamb's Ear because they are extremely soft plants and the leaves look a little like sweet lambie ears. In fact, if you ever catch yourself in the woods these are the leaves you would love to have on hand. They are the Cottonelle of leaves. They are also a beautiful silver color which look great in any type of landscape.

Of course there is a downside to these cuties...

1. They can be invasive. When they do flower (which again, mine never have or I have been too lazy to notice) cut the flowers off to prevent seeding OR dig the suckers up and share them with neighbors and friends!

2. When they start to die back in the fall and winter they are the ugliest and scraggliest looking sad things. They get brown and yellow and flat. I would include a picture of what they look like but it might make you cry.

Here's the info!!

Lamb's Ear Basic Info
Zone: 4-10
Light Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Type: Perennial,
Bloom Time: Spring to Early Fall
Colors: Silver Green

Best Uses : Interesting foliage, Low maintenance, container gardens, ground cover or edging plant
Water and care notes: Frequently however make sure soil is well drained and plants aren't sitting in puddles of water. Put some mulch under them to keep the leaves off the ground and sitting in water.If you start to notice brown or yellow leaves at the bottom, cut them off or remove them.
At the end of the growing season, I usually leave the dead leaves be figuring that it protects the new growth and cover the whole plant in mulch for the winter. You will see new leaves start to pop up in the spring.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Flowers to make you smile

How gorgeous are these flowers? They are gladiolus from Aunt Todd's garden! She lives in Virginia and hers always bloom early.

The kicker with these is that she got the bulb's (for gladiolus they are called corms) from a dollar store! I never thought to look for bulbs there. Talk about a bargain!

We will review and discuss more about gladiolus when MINE bloom. *Pout*

Thursday, July 9, 2009


That's what chickens sound like right? Yeah, I have no idea...I'm a city girl, remember?
Anyway, Hens and Chicks may be the EASIEST plant I have ever taken care of. I don't know why I don't just do an entire blog devoted to them.

Reasons why I love Hens and Chicks
1. They grow just about anywhere, even if there is a little bit of soil.
2. They are drought resistant.
3. They are evergreen in the winter and maintain their visual interest.
4. They look cool.

Reasons why I don't love Hens and Chicks
1. They make other plants look bad and very prissy because of how easy they are!

Hens and chicks are easy to divide and grow in other areas. All you do is take the little chicks or slightly larger ones growing off the big hens by grabbing them gently and pulling. Then plant the little root in the dirt. It's literally that easy that other plants should be embarrassed!

Step One: Grasp.

Step Two: Pull gently.

Step Three: Find dirt and cover root.

Hens and Chicks Basic Info
Zone: 3-11
Light Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Type: Evergreen, Perennial, Succulents
Bloom Time: Pretty much all the time! Little chicks usually grow during spring/summer/fall and go dormant in winter.
Colors: Green with tinges of red/burgandy

Best Uses : Interesting foliage, Low maintenance, container gardens, rock gardens
Water: drought tolerant, make sure soil is well drained and plants aren't sitting in puddles of water.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Geraniums are not just for old people!

For some odd reason I have had a dim view of geraniums ever since...well forever.

I hear "geraniums" and I think "old people garden". Why? I really don't know. I know older people and none of them grow geraniums.

I never considered them at all till this year for my containers but boy, am I glad I did.

Even though I typically only plant perennials in the ground, I am a big fan of putting annuals in pots on my steps and patio. It's nice because I can change my color schemes year after year if the mood strikes me. So this year, for some reason I picked up a pink geranium plant.

The best thing about geraniums is that they are an almost maintenance free flower with pretty foliage and summer long blooms. They can do with a little dryness every once in awhile which is great because sometimes I don't get around to watering every day. You should water them regularly but they should not be waterlogged and constantly wet. To get the flowers to continue blooming throughout the summer make sure you deadhead the fading blooms. Deadhead does not mean take them to see Jerry means to either snap or cut off the wilted flowers so new ones can bloom.

Here's the basics info on geraniums:
Basic Info
Light Exposure: Full Sun
Type: Annual, although you can "overwinter" them and plant again...I smell a project!
Bloom Time: Summer
Colors: White, Pink, Orange, Red, Purple
Best Uses : Cutting flowers, Interesting foliage, Low maintenence, container gardens
When to plant: Fall
Water: Minimal, soil should not be constantly wet

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

Here are some pictures of plants that I will be discussing in the near future!

Hens and Chicks
I actually forget what these are called! Time to break out the information cards!


Lamb's Ear

Asiatic Lily

Hope you have a happy and safe holiday! Try not to eat too many hot dogs!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy First Birthday!

My baby monkey is one today and looking so cute next to Mommy's hydrangeas!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lacecap Hydrangeas

As I mentioned previously I have two types of hydrangeas growing in my yard. I already talked about the Mophead Hydrangea so now it's time to focus on the Lacecap. Don't tell Mophead but Lacecap is my favorite! It's even got a prettier name! I mean seriously, let's play word association--Mophead=Dirty Water, Lacecap=Cute Babies. SEE!

Anyway, Lacecaps are in the same family as Mopheads so they require essentially the same growing habitat and care. My Lacecap is actually a transplant from the Hubs parent's shore house. Uncle Richie (have I mentioned him before? Son of Granny G of the Green Thumb, which he apparently inherited) tore it out and was going to throw it away! Sacrilege!! So I took it home and transplanted it into our yard. My husband was SOOOO HAPPY we had to drive home with a dirty, uproooted plant in the car.

What makes it even more special is that the leaves are variegated. I've been able to identify it as a 'Mariesii Variegata' (oooohhh, fancy Latin!!). Variegated Leaves means that in addition to the green that is on the leaves there is also a pattern or spots of white on them.

Variegated Leaves
Also very cool about this particular plant is the fact that I am getting 2 different flower colors this year--blue and a pinkish-purple, seen below. This has never happened before and I found out, when I was educating myself about hydrangeas over the past couple of days, that the pink-purple color may be the result of lime seeping into the ground near the plant from my concrete sidewalk and patio. This seems to be a good working theory as the pink-purple flowers are only really showing up in areas bordering concrete!


Here is the standard info on the 'Mariesii Variegata'
Zone: 5-9
Light Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade
Type: Perennial
Height/Spread: spreads to 4 feet by 4 feet over time
Bloom time: Different types bloom May to October
Colors: blue, pinks, white or off white
Best Uses: attracts bees (see previous posts about Xerces Foundation!)and butterflies, interesting foliage after flowers die, very unique flower, best suited for seashore locations (this would explain why it was planted originally at the shore house!)
When to plant: Spring or Fall
Water: Daily, ground should be moist