Garden Photo of the Day

Yellow lambs’ ears done right

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Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

The thought of a yellow lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina ‘Primrose Heron’, USDA Hardiness Zones 4-8) could make you cringe if you haven’t seen one before. But this combo designed by Freeland and Sabrina Tanner in California is proof that a yellow version of this classic silver perennial really can work! Here it’s combined with a deep red ‘Rose Glow’ barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Rose Glow’, Zones 5-8), ‘Butterfly Blue’ pincushion flower (Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’, Zones 3-8), pink-flowering hardy geranium (Geranium X cantabrigiense, Zones 5-8), and the yellow-striped foliage of ‘Yellow Wave’ phormium (Phormium ‘Yellow Wave’, Zones 8-11)

Click to enlarge
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais


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  1. arboretum 08/19/2011

    killer grouping. wish we could grow that stachys here in z. 5 but alas, have lost it too many times now.

  2. Deanneart 08/19/2011

    Fabulous combination! How I wish I could grow Phormium to look like that! gorgeous

  3. Frdgrntmatow 08/19/2011

    Don't give up hope! I have a clump this year that returned on its own and has thrived here in zone 4. I'd love to find this yellow one and try it. I think stachys is just a bashful variety of plant that waits for a slightly milder winter or a nice forgiving spring and then jumps up! Wish I could grow those roses!

  4. petuniababi 08/19/2011

    What a spectacular grouping.I have a spot where this would look terriffic.This is absolutely gorgeous!!!

  5. bamboomary 08/19/2011

    I didn't know you could do that Stachys wrong lol but this is a stunning combination. Like Deanneart I too wish I had the climate to accommodate a Phormium like that! If the phormium was not in that garden it would still be nice but it really does "complete" the total look. The Phormium color is perfect with that Stachys.

  6. Arian 08/22/2011

    I live in York County, VA, zone 7b/8a and can't keep Stachys alive to save me. The voles eat it, or it melts in the summer heat, or both. It will be okay for a couple of years, and then dies miserably. I want to try planting it in several places to see if that makes a difference. Barberry is an invasive here [wah!], and it's a bit too cold in winter for Phormium, but a smallish Loropetalum and variegated Yucca would probably approximate this grouping.

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