Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Should I go to War?



This is my Lungwort (Pulmonaria x 'Berries N' Cream') or Bethlehem sage that I planted last year. I could not find it in the local nursery and they special ordered it for me. The variegated leaves with a hairy-furry surface are almost as interesting as the flowers which start out pink and change to purple. The blossoms remind me of the blue bells that grew wild in the foothills behind my house growing up in Colorado. This perennial spreads out about 2-3 feet. My specimen sits in a landscape bed that is right up beside the house and the plant is touted as deer resistant.

...Unlike my purple rhododendron which sits only four feet away in the same landscape bed and which had only one bloom that escaped the cropping of the deer. I am hoping that the deer and I can come to a better compromise once I live here full time. Of course, if they are fundamentalistic and uncompromising in their diet, we will work this out on less friendly terms!

Finally, it is now time for the wild sassafras (below) to be in bloom. If you tear or crush the leaves, they smell like root beer. Tea can be made with the leaves by pouring boiling water over a handful, letting them sit, covered, for 10-15 minutes and then straining out the leaves. I remember doing this when I was a scout leader... but I cannot remember if it worked.

4 comments:

Annie in Austin said...

My previous Texas garden had to be made of deer-resistant plants, but you'd need a completely different list on the East Coast. It did start to feel like a war at times.

Are you going to try the sassafras tea again, Tabor? Hot root beer sounds pretty weird. Ads for Dr Pepper used to suggest heating it as a hot holiday punch, but that one didn't fly either.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Sky said...

i recently heard something about pulmonaria growing well in shade. is yours in shade? i was thinking about getting one for our woodland garden area.

Tabor said...

Sky, my plant gets early morning full sun and in mid-summer is will get sun most of the mid-day. Probably nothing after 1:30 or 2:00. This is only the second year...so I will see.

Annie, Maybe after retirement I will have time to experiment with crushed leaf teas...but nothing now ;-)

Val said...

I count myself lucky that pulmonaria is like a weed around here. I love the way the flowers change colour as they mature... a touch of early colour in the leaf litter and real weeds!