Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mrs. Moon

Mrs. Moon Pulmonaria

In the evenings, I gaze out the window and absentmindedly flip through magazines. Grinning down at me, last night, was a new sliver moon.

Shoulda waited* ~ I thought to myself.
Yesterday I planted 50 little pots of seeds, new stuff to spruce up the ugly half of my backyard.

That got me thinking about one of my favorite little blue bloomers: Mrs. Moon.

Sound asleep under the snow is a drift of Mrs. Moon (Pulmonaria,) who, with any luck, will put forth a bright burst of color toward the end of May.*

She's a goodie for mountain gardens, flourishing in wet clay soil during springtime. Dormant later in summer, when things dry up.

Mrs. Moon has phases, too. She starts out blooming pink, then her dainty flowers turn to pretty shades of blue.

She's the hardiest of the bunch, though there are many Pulmonarias to choose from. Last year I bought her a new playmate, Rubra Red:

Did you know?
Plants respond to the same gravitational pull of tides that affect the oceans. Just as the moon pulls the tides in the oceans, it also pulls the subtle bodies of water. Scientists may argue about it's effect on us but tests have proven seeds will absorb the most water at the time of the full moon - and germinate faster during this time in the lunar cycle.

Blue Moons:
Pulmonaria saccharata Mrs. Moon, also called Bethlehem Sage, USDA zones 3-8, grows to about 12 inches tall. Pretty speckled foliage with silver spots.

Gardeners in kinder climates might prefer these Pulmonaria varieties. They have more intense color though perform poorly in my high altitude garden. :( I am partial to blue: Azure, Benediction, Blue Ensign, Lewis Palmer, Majeste.

Pulmonaria blooms late in May at 7,000 feet (where I live.) Will probably bloom a month sooner for you gardeners at the bottom of the hill.

1 comment:

jodi said...

Lovely, Kate. One of my favourite plants is (are?) pulmonaria. I have Red Start, Sissinghurst White, Cevennensis, and several others--plus I think they cross pollinate and arbitrarily do their own thing. Even when not in bloom, I adore their foliage, and rarely get the mildew that others report. You probably don't get much either?