Some plants have funny names. Take Lamb's Ear, for instance. Funny name, but a neat plant. It's grown mainly for it's broad, woolly-soft, silvery leaves, but it also has this great ability to tolerate dry growing conditions. It doesn't seem to mind a bit of shade, either. Then in late spring it sends up stalks with clusters of furry buds interspersed with mini leaves that, if you look closely, really do look like lamb's ears. Soon little pink flowers burst forth and eventually turn into seed pods. It multiplies quickly after that, which makes it a really nice ground cover for those dry, shady areas where nothing much will grow. Here's the funny part about this plant: it can be used as toilet paper if you're ever lost in the woods. Good to know, right?! I like this plant for all those reasons, but I started growing it for another. It all started with a little black sheep. Doesn't it always? Here's the back story: I learned to spin wool into yarn in college, and once I married and settled into a home of my own, I decided to revisit that old hobby. So, being the farm animal addict that I am, instead of simply buying a spinning wheel and some pre-washed wool, I started by collecting sheep. The first one was a little black Shetland ram. He was soon joined by a couple of Shetland ewes, who in no time produced several Shetland lambs. They were sheared that spring so I could spin the wool on my spinning wheel. I didn't stop there, however. I love to incorporate themes on the homestead, and one day I happened across the markdown rack at a local garden center, and it was filled with Lamb's Ear. Just like that, another theme was born. I scored the entire rack of Lamb's Ear for $1.00!! As I was loading my purchase in the car, I was overwhelmed with visions of flower beds brimming with Lamb's Ear, a pasture full of cute little leaping lambs with ears, and me spinning to my heart's content in the midst of it all. See how it all goes together? Good. Maybe you could explain it to my husband...he's still trying to figure that one out.
Lovely Lamb's Ear
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