Thursday, May 14, 2009

More Gifts!

Before I watered it, and then below is after...much better.

Our friends, Judy and Duane gave us some Lamb's Ear (Latin Name: Stachys byzantina) and a ground cover called Woodruff (Latin Name: Galium odoratum). Both plants looked better than these pictures, after I gave them a good drink.

The Lamb's Ear like sun and I cannot resist 'petting' the leaves of the Lamb's Ear, which is quite soothing. Here is a bit of information about Lamb's Ear:

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Appreciates some light afternoon shade in hot climates. Too much shade, however, may impede leaf drying and promote the onset of disease. Drought tolerant. Avoid overhead watering. Spreads by creeping stems that root as they go along the ground and can be mildly aggressive in rich soils. Plant 12-18" apart for use as ground cover. Divide when necessary or to fill in bare patches.

This lamb's ear cultivar is grown primarily for its thick, soft, velvety, silvery leaves which typically form a rapidly spreading mat approximately 4-6" off the ground. Leaves are evergreen in warm climates, but will depreciate considerably in harsh winters. This cultivar is perhaps most noted for the fact that it rarely produces flower spikes. Dense rosettes of woolly, tongue-shaped, gray-green leaves (to 4" long) spread by runners. Leaf shape and texture resemble a lamb's ear, hence the common name.

Tends to rot and develop leaf diseases in humid summer climates. Well-drained soils are essential in order to combat potential rot problems. Even with well-drained soils, some summer die-out may occur where high humidity and/or moisture on foliage is present.

Foliage provides interesting texture and color to the border or rock garden. Effective edger or small area ground cover.

Information on Sweet Woodruff:

Sweet woodruff is considered a valuable herb in the garden. It's a perfect choice for those shady spots near trees and overhangs. It's also a natural insect repellent. Although a useful herb of longstanding, sweet woodruff gets short shrift because its greatest fame is derived from its historical addition to May wine or punch, often with Rhine wine and Champagne. As this use has become less widespread, sweet woodruff has become better known as a spring-blooming groundcover.

The light green leaves are tiny, thin and in star-like whorls around brittle stems that poke up only 4 to 5 inches above the soil. The delicate-looking leaves provide a welcome lightness and delicacy as a ground cover. The sprightly 1 inch diameter white flowers appear in great numbers, like a froth covering the plants in spring and last for a few weeks. Both the leaves and the flowers exude a soft, spicy scent that adds to the plant’s appeal. The fragrance is even more pronounced when the leaves and blossoms are dried for potpourris and sachets. Smelling of a mixture of sweet hay and cinnamon, particularly when dried, it has a number of household, aromatic, and medicinal uses.

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