Lamb's ears appeal to children - me included!

Children love to touch soft fuzzy things, so when they come through the garden they notice our lamb's ears. We encourage them to touch and feel them. Many of us love to use all our senses in a garden. Of course, seeing is the primary sense we encourage, but learning to pay attention to how a plant feels is sometimes of utmost importance as is to smell different plants.

Sometimes you can even use your ears in the garden, and not just for bird songs. Some plants actually make noises. Grasses "rustle" in the wind. Some plants "spit" or "fire" their seeds, sounding like little BBs hitting things. Impatiens have seed pods that pop open quickly and expel seeds in all directions - thus earning the names "impatients" or "touch-me-nots." Lamb's ears do not make any noise, nor do they throw things at you; they just love to be touched and petted.

Did you know lamb's ears is a medicinal herb that has styptic abilities? That means it will stop bleeding. The plant can be used to stop bleeding from a nick by a razor when shaving, or from a minor cut. I have used a lamb's ears leaf to wrap around my finger to stop bleeding from various gardening activities, and it works. I read that soldiers in ancient wars would use fuzzy leaved plants such as lamb's ears and Mullein to keep their feet warm in worn out shoes. They would certainly feel soft.

Lamb's ears needs a lot of sun, but will grow in part shade as long as the bed is well-drained. We always have been taught that lamb's ears likes to grow dry. Last winter and spring we were amazed at how beautifully our lamb's ears did in all the rain. I think it just doesn't like the heat and humidity of summer. It grows exceptionally well fall through spring.

I have always loved seeing gray and silver plants in a garden. They bring out the colors of other flowers, and colors bring out the sparkle in silver plants. Lamb's ears is a good silver plant, as are some artemisias and dusty miller.

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