The pull of pul­monaria

EDP Norfolk - - Interiors -

Pul­monar­ias are one of our most loved perennials and have adorned Bri­tish spring gar­dens for many years be­com­ing par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar in the 1960s. Then there were only around 20 va­ri­eties, but they cross-pol­li­nate freely and now there is a be­wil­der­ing choice of va­ri­eties – some more gar­den-wor­thy than oth­ers.

A va­ri­ety I’ve grown for many years is P. ‘Blue En­sign’ which pro­duces its in­tensely deep blue flow­ers over sev­eral weeks in early spring; like other pul­monar­ias it’s ex­cel­lent in dap­pled shade but will tol­er­ate more sun than most va­ri­eties. For me one of the best white va­ri­eties is ‘Siss­inghurst White’ which flow­ers through­out the spring, its pure white flow­ers com­ple­mented well by its dap­pled sil­ver fo­liage which, in mild gar­dens, re­mains ev­er­green through­out the year.

A good pink-flow­ered va­ri­ety is ‘Rasp­berry Splash’. It has clus­ters of up­ward-fac­ing deep rasp­berry-pink flow­ers which turn pur­ple then al­most blue as they age; these are held above green leaves heav­ily spot­ted with sil­ver which show good re­sis­tance to pow­dery mildew. A good newer va­ri­ety to add the old favourites is ‘Trevi Foun­tain’. One of the long­est-flow­er­ing blue va­ri­eties, it pro­duces its cobalt flow­ers con­tin­u­ously from March through to May above its sil­ver-spot­ted leaves.

Pul­monar­ias grow best in moist, hu­mus­rich soil in dap­pled shade, com­bin­ing well with daf­fodils, ferns and other shade-lov­ing perennials such as brun­nera, euphor­bia amyg­daloides and helle­bores. To avoid seedlings trim plants back af­ter flow­er­ing and new fo­liage will ap­pear within two weeks; plants can also be di­vided at this time.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.