Pulmonaria Blue Ensign

Pulmonaria Blue Ensign, such a long time since we have had Pulmonaries in the garden.

It was only on a visit to Crathes gardens a couple of years ago  in the month of April that made me decide to reintroduce these little beauties to our garden once again.

I guess I wasn’t so fond, seeing them perform well in Spring and then  in mid Summer the foliage would virtually disappear either through mildew, or perhaps it can just be the habit of this plant

The first one in bloom in our garden for some years is Blue Ensign.

I planted a couple of them in the east facing border in the back garden, these pictures were taken a few days ago.

As expected the foliage did die back completely in mid Summer last year, however I was delighted to see the emerging leaves in the second week of March this year.  The dreadful early Spring held flowering back a couple of weeks.

Blue Ensign is a hardy perennial and generally seen as one of the best blue varieties available, the plain green leaves are unlike so many of the other Pulmonaries which have cream or silver splashes /spots on the leaves.

Pulmonarias also known as Lungwort, they perform best of all in partial shade or even full shade and are also not fussy about soil type as long as its free draining.  As I was saying the leaves often die back in  Summer, fear not the plant is not dead.

Hardiness – Fully hardy

Position – Part or full shade

Height – 30cm

*** Pulmonaria blue ensign  ***

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Another Pulmonaria to consider is (Opal)  I don’t have this one as yet, however I am sure to find it soon.

The pictures below were taken on my visit to Crathes gardens.

The flowers of this herbaceous perennial are the palest of blue, almost white in fact.  For those who like the marble effect leaves then Opal with silvery white spots is for you.

Keep these plants well watered in Summer to help prevent the powdery mildew which is often associated with Pulmonaria.

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This one below was also photographed at Crathes, it has the purest of white flowers and plain green leaves.  There was no label on this one.

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A few pleasant days and the garden is coming to life, here we have a few plants which decided to give us a show  in the  last week of April.

 

The Biennial Bellis is probably not a plant most of us would rave about, however Habanera is in a class of its own and I will talk about it on another occasion.

 

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Hellebores started blooming mid February, only a little later than usual, however they have been in flower for more than two months and looking at their very best in April.

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© 2013 – 2015, Alistair. All rights reserved.

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55 Responses to Pulmonaria Blue Ensign

  1. Linda says:

    Hi Alistair,
    Lovely lungwort, very striking blue flowers. I have the more common Mrs. Moon, but when I cut back the sloppy foliage around Midsummer and water them, they usually respond by growing new foliage.
    Enjoy the garden and all that emerges, it’s truly a gardeners carnival isn’t it.
    Linda recently posted..Magnolia x soulangeana

  2. Alberto says:

    Hi Alistair! I love pulmonarias, especially the ones with silver spotted leaves, I like their pink and blue flowers at the same time too. It seems that spring has finally arrived in your part of the World! It was about time, wasn’t it? Your hellebores look stunning.
    Alberto recently posted..Bonus-Malus

  3. Larry says:

    You certainly have a lot of lovely blooms Alistair… I especially like your hellebores. The pulmonarias are lovely as well and mine are also doing well this spring. We have gone from low 40’s to 70’s so a lot of things may happen quickly, although I don’t believe it is to stay this warm. I actually am going to have to water some areas as we are very dry again, the majority of rains having skirted us… hopefully not a sign of the future as I’d hate to deal with another drought this season.
    Larry recently posted..More plant portraits

  4. Mark and Gaz says:

    Lovely blooms Alistair! Spring has finally arrived for all of us, yay!
    Mark and Gaz recently posted..April in the Garden

  5. Sunil Patel says:

    Hi Alistair, I immediately recognised the Anemone Blanda, a delicate and very beautiful Spring flower, I’ll be getting many more corms at some point as I’ve seen them sold very cheaply at wholesale. I’ll be sure to throw a few coloured ones in too just to upset the uniformists. It took me a while to figure out that the tulip was a tulip – I thought it was some exotic lily and was amazed that it was flowering so early, wondering if you’d had the pot inside for the winter.
    Sunil Patel recently posted..Late GBBD For April 2013

    • Alistair says:

      Hi Sunil,the Tulip johann strauss is planted directly in the border of the front garden, they are just going over now. We have loads of other Tulips in pots. Always just leave them outdoors, never come to any harm.

  6. Beautiful blooms Alistair. I l;ove the blue lungwort. I have many different lungwort planted around the back gardens. If they are in more shade or areas that stay moist the foliage stays around through fall. I will have to look for Blue Ensign.
    [email protected] Eye View recently posted..Silent Spring

    • Alistair says:

      Donna, Blue Ensign is a beauty, and although it is often stated as being the best blue, Carolyn at one time pointed out that in her opinion she preferred another. Can’t remember the name, sure I must have it stored away.

  7. Holleygarden says:

    Your hellebores are truly gorgeous. Mine are still blooming, too! I’m amazed. As for the pulmonaria, well, I’ve tried twice, and failed. I think the “free draining” part is the problem here. But, you never know. Maybe one day I’ll find just the right spot for it.
    Holleygarden recently posted..What I Work For

    • Alistair says:

      Holley, it is very surprising, there has been times when I have given up on certain plants only to find out much later that it would thrive in another area of the garden.

  8. Karen says:

    Hi Alistair, love the blue Pulmonaria, your photo work is really great.

  9. Alistair you have a bevy of beautiful spring flowers, I’ve heard Crathes gardens are lovely, the little purple primula with the yellow eye is P.wanda, Frances
    Island Threads recently posted..guilty pleasures

  10. Helene says:

    Lovely Pulmonarias, I haven’t got any yet but a have a few on my wish list for my woodland corner, I think they will do well there under my big conifer…when I can afford some, I have made other priorities this year with some big purchases already done and a few more to come.

    Have you by any chance tried the new hardy double gardenia, Gardenia jasminoides ‘Crown Jewel’ ? I soooo want one! Thought I would try it in my garden so at moment it is number one on my wish list 🙂
    Your hellebores look lovely still, mine are still in flower but coming to an end, with fat seed heads everywhere. Think I will try to save some of them before they are dispersed. Hope the weather is getting a bit warmer up there, we had hail last night and only 11 degrees today, big jump down from 23 on Friday, Brr!
    Helene recently posted..Daffodils and tulips, a short visit

    • Alistair says:

      Helene, I haven’t tried the Gardenia jasminoides Crown Jewel, can understand that you would be keen to try it. I was thinking of trying the hardy Gerbera. The weather is a lot better than it was early April, plenty of sunshine but struggling to get higher than 12c.

  11. b-a-g says:

    Alastair – I was interested to see your post when I saw pulmonaria in the title because I have been considering for three years if I should plant one in my garden. It’s made itself quite at home in my relatives’ gardens locally – to the point of being invasive, your eyes tune into the spots, then you see them eveywhere. However I have to admit the blue and pink flowers are charming.
    b-a-g recently posted..P****less (28 APR 2013)

  12. Astrid says:

    Hi Alistair
    I will note Blue Ensign on my many shopping trips to the nurseries soon. And I admire your flexibility and obvious “good” knees because there’s no way you could have taken those great shots of the hellebores unless you were lying on the ground – looking up! Good for you.
    Astrid recently posted..Garden Design 1

  13. Andrea says:

    At last your spring has arrived. I love mostly the blues, in whatever form. However, they are very seldom here, because they are cold colors!
    Andrea recently posted..Best Friends

  14. Angie says:

    Isn’t it great that the weather is now so much better. Are you still getting the winds Alistair – they are still quite stong down here!
    I have 3 different Pulmonaria (only one named, Opal)- I find they don’t disappear here, strange,eh!
    I much prefer the foliage than the flowers. I also grow some in full sun and they cope well.
    Haven’t hellebores been tremendous this year – they all earned their keep!
    Your Pieris flowers are gorgeous, as is that little Bellis flower.
    Angie recently posted..New trough planting

  15. Rick says:

    Hi Alistair,
    I stopped growing Pulmonarias for much the same reasons as yourself when I had a more formal garden scheme. I now have some planted “woodland” and grow several plants that die back in summer with which they will fit in well, and your pictures have inspired me to have another go.
    Rick recently posted..…….No it isn’t…..

  16. Masha says:

    They really are little beauties, thank you for all the lovely pictures. I enjoyed seeing all the other spring blooms: here it is hot already, and spring is a memory, but your post brought it back.
    Masha recently posted..Rose Portraits, Companions and a Bush Shot or Two

  17. I only have a couple of pulmonarias, but I love those delicate flowers. You have found a way to highlight it so perfectly. I wish I could fit all the plants I see at nurseries and botanical gardens into my garden. I am trying, but I know there is a limit. 🙂
    The Sage Butterfly recently posted..My Garden Notebook – May 2013

  18. Donna says:

    I have never had the powdery mildew problem with Lungwort and I have two varieties. Both mine are in shade and I do not water them either. They are pretty tolerant of dryer conditions if in shade.
    Donna recently posted..A River Walk for the Birds

  19. Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens says:

    I love Blue Ensign and pulmonarias in general and would hve loved to see your photos but they were all gone. In their place was a sign that said attempted image theft, call the police. Not sure what this is because I wasn’t copying any photos.

    • Alistair says:

      Oh no, what next. Thanks for letting me know Carolyn. I don’t know where to start with this one. The next time you take a look let me know if it happens again and I will call in the experts.

  20. Indie says:

    What beautiful hellebores! I love the leaves on that ‘Opal’ Lungwort. For some reason, I can never remember this plant as ‘Pulmonaria’ – ‘lungwort’ is such a distinctive name I guess that that’s the only one I remember! That Bellis is stunning!
    Indie recently posted..Goodbye Wishes

    • Alistair says:

      I have noticed that the majority of gardeners know the Pulmonaria as Lungwort. I think this Bellis is going to be at its absolute best when its time to uplift them and put in the Summer bedding.

  21. I am still trying to decide where to move my pulmonarias to, I think the place I had in mind will be to heavy and too sunny, so i think I will play it safe. I really like the pure white one, might have to put that one on the wishlist… That’t the terrible thing about reading garden blogs, you wind up with an ever-growing wishlist far longer than it would be otherwise!
    Janet/Plantaliscious recently posted..End of Month View April 2013

  22. Hey old friend,
    Blue Ensign is indeed a beautiful creature. We’re itching to plant here but we had a high in the thirties in May for the first time in history. Even couple inches of snow fell, too. And some witness there’s no global warming.

    Blessings,

    Patrick

  23. I never liked the way Pulmonaria behaved in our old garden, but I love them so much that I decided to try again in Norfolk and introduced ‘Cambridge Blue’. So far it has been an absolute delight. I have seen ‘Blue Ensign’ doing very well locally, so all is forgiven and I am looking forward to extending the collection. Hasn’t it been a wonderful year for Hellebores?
    The Gardening Shoe recently posted..Swishing for Gardeners and a Garlic Bath

  24. Diana Studer says:

    have I missed something? Has someone been stealing your photos? I can’t read your blog in Blotanical because you are yelling STOP THIEF all over the place. What happened?!
    Diana Studer recently posted..Darling buds of May

    • Alistair says:

      Thanks for letting me know Diana. Carolyn has told me the same thing and also Deb. Do you mean that if you access my blog other than through blotanical it is ok? The problem clearly isn’t happening with every visitor. The only thing I can think of is, a week ago I spotted one of my images on the site of a seed company from the UK. I got in touch with them and they apologised, this picture was also on google bearing the seed companys name. To be quite honest I wouldn’t have been all that fussed, but my next post has this picture and I felt that google who may pick it up and would think that I had used the picture inappropriately. Could this be a reason for such a problem.

  25. Diana Studer says:

    Alistair – what do you see, where your pictures should be, if you look at your own blog’s feed at Blotanical?
    Now I’m even more confused. To me, it looks as if you have deliberately set up your feed, with warnings where the photos were. Not your work? Not your variation on disabling right click (which many bloggers do)?
    Diana Studer recently posted..Darling buds of May

  26. Diana Studer says:

    PS I can see the pictures now, when I am ON your blog. The problem seems to be with the feed.
    And I can right click your images here, to open in a new tab. No problems.
    Diana Studer recently posted..Darling buds of May

    • Alistair says:

      It should be fixed now, but will blotanical recognise the fix. If not I will close my blotanical account and rely on my blog list on my own site.

  27. linniew says:

    Oh I like that Blue Ensign. I have Mrs Moon and it’s not nearly so dramatic. Sorry for all the photo technical problems– I hope they get worked out for you. All the images look fine coming directly to the site. Big potato discussion at my house Alistair so I hope, as my expert tattie enthusiast, you will weigh in. (To chop or not to chop.)

    • Alistair says:

      Hi Linnie, The problem with my blog has been resolved, I think there is still issues if people come to me through blotanical. I will most definitely drop by to see what’s going on with the tatties.

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