Over the weekend, I embarked on the project of moving my very prolific lamb’s ears to a new bed.  As I wrote here earlier this summer, they had completely obliterated the lovely little row of succulents they were meant to complement.

Now, about two weeks ago, I nearly stepped on a wee baby snake slithering out of the weeds between the patio pavers, through the lamb’s ears, and under the porch.  It was with great trepidation, therefore, that I reached into this fuzzy jungle of leaves with the trowel and tried to dig them out.  They were tough!  I finally resorted to grabbing the plant as near the base as I could reach and just yanking.  I was astonished at the size of what, a year ago, had been one small plant.  I was also quite relieved not to encounter any reptiles!

I separated a great number of shoots from this and another similar mass, and moved them to two beds I had prepared earlier in the day.  They have been thriving in poor, gravelly, dry soil, so I did not do anything to enrich the dirt in their new homes.

One set will grow between the back deck and the house, in a spot where weeds have always thrived.  There is a good deal of gravel beneath this soil, and it bears the brunt of hot mid to late afternoon sun, so I think the lamb’s ears will fill in nicely and choke out any weeds that try to return!  I also planted a dozen allium bulbs near the house wall and plan to scatter some cleome seed back there, to give the bed some height and color.  See how tiny the shoots I pulled off the mother are!

I moved another group up the hill to an area around a small group of trees.  It is quite shady, of course, but does get the sun while it is still low in the early morning, and again before it sinks in the evening.  Earlier in the summer, I casually plopped a few small transplants up there, and while they have not thrived, they did survive. One even sent up several flower stalks.  It’s not easy digging up there, what with the tree roots and requisite Pennsylvania rocks, but I scraped out a little bed, and set in about 15 babies. 

I am hoping that next summer I will be able to look out my kitchen window, up the hill, and have something interesting to see! 

Unfortunately, I am not done yet!  There is still more lamb’s ear to deal with before my little patch of succulents recovers from its summer of overcrowded darkness.  Lamb’s ear, anyone?