30 May 2009

Mint beats Lambs Ear

Earlier in the spring I took a lot of pictures of the thriving lambs ear.

I wanted to capture how very furry it is, and that was when I realized how hard it is to take a crisp image of an inherently fuzzy object.

Last year our back flowerbed was overgrown with mint. In a sneaky land-grab maneuver, the mint had claimed territory from the rose, cone flower, lambs ear, and another plant that I don't know the name of. Here's a picture of the nameless thing.

Let me know if you recognize it. In case it helps you identify it; the leaves are thick and leathery, a paler green than the grass. I believe it will have pinkish blossoms later in the summer. This year the plant has grown into a mound about 2' high and wide. That's a lot bigger than it got last year when the mint was choking it and everything else.

While the mint maintained its stranglehold on the back flowerbed, all of its neighbors suffered. You'd expect nothing else of the rose and cone flower. They just lie down and take it. But lambs ear? It too is known to be invasive and tenacious. It can get out of hand and take over a garden, but lambs ear doesn't hold a candle to mint. Nope. It didn't stand a chance.

But ultimately the mint didn't stand a chance either. It had to contend against me. At about this time last year I decimated our mint crop. Three healthy patches of mint survived my pruning.

It was too late in the year for this measure to make a meaningful difference for the other plants. But this year my imposed restriction of the mint's territory has made a world of difference. Everything is blooming bigger and better, and I keep a watchful eye lest the mint revive its dreams of unchecked expansion.


Kate said...

Ooo Ooo Ooo, I know this one!! The perennial is Sedum. Not sure exactly what variety you have, looks like the same as mine. It has pinkish blooms? From what I've found online it maybe Autumn Fire or Autumn Joy. The cuttings will root if put in water.

Mary Ann said...

Thanks! I'll keep an eye on my plant and compare it with some of the web images to be sure, but this is a big help.

Karin said...

That my dear is "Frau Hässlich" Mann. Ich wünscht ich hätt' die Dinger nicht im Garten die gehen mir sowas von auf die Nerven...

Mary Ann said...

Which one, oder meinst Du alle beiden?