17 March 2017
There have been a few flowers out in the gardens right through January (perennial wallflower and red deadnettle) and February (winter aconites, snowdrops and crocuses), which have provided some nectar for bees flying on warmer, dry days when there hasn’t been any wind. Now, as the days begin to get longer and slightly warmer, the pulmonarias have started flowering, and will continue for several weeks. Bees love them, and seem to visit them in preference to anything else that’s flowering at the time (it’s so difficult not to keep writing “make a beeline for” on this blog, but watching bees approach all the flowers, then making straight for the pulmonaria, you can certainly see where the phrase came from).
We grow a few clumps of one of the darker blue forms (Blue Ensign), as well as the common pulmonaria with both pink and blue flowers; it’s a common plant in many gardens round here on heavy clay. It prefers cool, shady places, ideally with rather more moisture than we have at the Memorial Gardens, but it’ll thrive pretty well anywhere. The only problem is that if the plants get too dry their leaves become mildewed, which can be unattractive, so we grow several clumps of them near the comfrey to provide them with shade in summer, or at least hide the leaves till we get round to cutting them off.