Lamb’s Ear Gets Around

 

Lamb's ear growing out of compacted dirt at the base of a kiwi vine.

Lamb’s ear growing out of compacted dirt at the base of a kiwi vine.

We planted lamb’s ear in the garden about six years ago. Since then it has come up in unexpected places. But we have plenty of space, so when it comes up somewhere that we don’t want it, we dig it up and put it somewhere else. If you get stung or bit while working in the garden by an ant or spider or other lurking tiny thing, you can take a leaf of lamb’s ear and rub it on the spot for a little relief. Lamb’s ear has numerous medicinal uses and also a unique color and texture that makes it a stand out in the garden. Another perennial herb, it’s a very cheap date. There’s really no maintenance. It grows well with water, without much water, whatever, and it is a welcome bit of green in a winter and early spring garden.

The spot where we originally planted the lamb's ear six years ago.

The spot where we originally planted the lamb’s ear six years ago.

No Such Thing as Quiet

Bearded iris leaves, lambs ear and thyme have been thriving beneath a layer of leaves.

Bearded iris leaves, lambs ear and thyme have been thriving beneath a layer of leaves.

Today I spent a couple hours raking up leaves that I had left spread out over my kitchen garden for the winter. The area is partly sunny but mostly shady in the summer time.  There was bright green ground cover underneath all those dry brown leaves, and lambs ear too, and bearded iris leaves emerging from the ground. I have a little rake that I use to clear my garden where I know I have delicate plants growing. Mr. Mims planted some Jacob’s Ladder in the same area,  and I picked carefully around the area where I have a little ring of stones to mark the spot. It was a nice surprise to see the plant emerge again, and the pretty purple flowers getting ready to bloom.

When I shot this video there was wind, and crows calling, and an airplane flying overhead that sounds a little like a Jimi Hendrix slide accompanying the nearby wind chimes while the flowers do their dance…

Savory Sage

Common sage really does look common and bedraggled in winter, Even when it looks used and useless, it is actually still very useful and smells just as powerful. But the variegated sage that I have growing doesn’t lose any of its brilliance. Sage is another herb (like oregano,) that I keep dried in my seasoning cabinet, but that I love to pick fresh because, I confess, I have a scent fetish.

The variegated sage in front of this fairy looks more vigorous than the common sage behind her. But don't let looks fool you.

The variegated sage in front of this fairy looks more vigorous than the common sage behind her. But don’t let looks fool you.

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Bright Green Oregano in Winter

There are signs of spring everywhere, mating geese, nesting hawks, buried bulbs breaking out of the ground, but winter isn’t over yet. Before making a commitment to the inevitable, I still want to talk about herbs in winter. I’ve enjoyed seeing my evergreen herbs in the garden these past few months, and also their special qualities when I use them in the kitchen. I talked about the thyme, chamomile, lavender, parsley already. Oregano is a very companionable herb that stays a bright, happy green all winter long.

Oregano in winter, in the kitchen box at the foot of THE BELL.

Oregano in winter, in the kitchen box at the foot of THE BELL.

After flowering in summer time I usually cut back the long dry stems of oregano. What remains all winter are the evergreen leaves. They don’t send off new shoots again until spring, but their color never fades. Continue reading

Lavender in Winter

There are many flowers and smells and sights to gush about in the spring and summer, but some plants offer pleasures year-round. Lavender is perennial and evergreen. Lavender leaves smell just as strong as the flowers. If you rub the leaves between your fingers the scent will stick with you for awhile. The leaves are a grayish-green in winter. I have both the English and French variety growing. In the winter time you can’t really tell the difference between them. Continue reading

Evergreen Thyme

Thyme and lemon thyme are growing in serveral areas in my gardens.

Thyme and lemon thyme are growing in serveral areas in my gardens.

Thyme and lemon thyme are growing in serveral areas in my gardens. They are among a group of herbs that I have growing, that are both perennial and evergreen. It’s nice in winter time to see the green leaves of sage and thyme, oregano and parsley and lavender. Thyme is a savory herb that I use quite a lot in my kitchen on meat like chicken and fish. I also use it in sauces for spaghetti and almost any typ of Italian style food. Continue reading