Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pulmonaria, so Bright in Early Spring Gardens

'Raspberry Splash'
'Silver Bouquet'
'Apple Frost'
I love to explore my gardens in the early spring. Poking through the leaves and mulch, seeing my breath in the still crisp air. I look for any little sign that my garden is awakening. Each year, I am greeted with the vibrant pink and blue blossoms of my Pulmonaria, or lungwort. These little beauties are in bloom long before most leaves even begin to merge. I first became acquainted with these little jewels about 12 years ago when I did a perennial plant swap through an online group. I haven't looked back since. The common name lungwort, comes from the fact that the pretty spotted leaves are reminiscent of a diseased lung. Not a very pleasant comparison, I might add. Pulmonarias  are low growers that do well at the front of a border. They also make wonderful groundcover. Pulmonarias prefer rich, loamy soil that is a bit moist but not too wet. They are also well suited for rock gardens with rocky, dry conditions. They will be happy in full shade to several hours of sun, and are deer resistant, too. Good companion plantings include ferns, astilbe, bleeding heart, heucheras and hosta. Try them under japanese maples and azaleas for added pizzazz. I think you will find, as I have, that they are a very welcome addition to your garden. Hardy zones 3-9. Questions or comments? Feel free :)
'David Ward'

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