Bleeding Hearts

Perennials…..my favorites in the garden by far…..but, I always say that each plant, regardless of size or color or re-bloom, or re-plant…..all have a place in this little space.

Kind of a metaphor for life, isn’t it. No matter who we are or where we come from, how long we have been here, or any other factor, we all have a place….some don’t necessarily fit so well together, but then, a little nudge to the left or right and voila! Beauty!

Okay, I admit I am a little weird at times, but I am also a bit melancholy. We have had a few hiccups in our world, nothing major, but ‘life happens’, and we need to adjust from time to time. This is why I have been missing in action a bit of late. Just taking care of business….and that is how it should be.

We have made our way back to the garden though, and with it, substantial changes. I am especially enjoying the daily change of the colors and foliage and blossoms! I swear my ferns grew 2 feet in 3 days, and what is up with the irises? They are happy happy happy. The rock phlox is nearing it’s finale, with blossoms, and considering the winter kill back, I am amazed that they flower at all!

IMG_3012But today we are looking at the bleeding hearts. I love them. Old fashioned though they may be, they are troupers through and through. The graceful foliage, delicate flowers, and early consistent blooming makes me appreciate them all over again each year.

As a child I remember the one and only bleeding heart Mom had on the east side of the house. As all children, we were fascinated by the weird blossoms. “They really look like a heart” we would tell one another each year. Now that seems like a silly statement, but to a 5 year old, a heart shaped flower is AMAZING!!!! As are so many things in the garden.

Our mother would not allow us to pick flowers without her permission. And even then, we were very limited in what we could pick. She was a practical farm woman, who didn’t want to waste anything, so why would you pick and kill a blossom that could potentially live on in the garden another week or more? Makes sense…when you are an adult…not a child. I have a much more relaxed thinking…..if you like it, and it won’t harm anything….please enjoy!!!

I have only 3 variety of bleeding heart: Dicentra spectabilis, D. spectabilis ‘Alba’, IMG_3013and D. formosa. The first 2 represent the common type, that is easily shared….although the Alba is a white flowering bleeding heart, which is not really all that common. I have the pink ones on the north side of the house, but not up to it, so they receive morning and evening sun. The Alba is on the west, but also is shaded to the south by the garage so it only gets late afternoon and evening sun. I love it. It gets about 2 feet tall and is a beauty.

IMG_3011The fern leaf, or fringed….Dicentra formosa…..I have on the north side and also in an eastern exposure bed…..it is amazing and low growing, and, honestly, I love the foliage more than the flower!!!

Give them a good drink throughout flowering season. They can take sun or shade, but prefer a mix. And, if your climate is quite hot in the summer, the plant will turn brown and disappear, but will show some growth as it cools and it will treat you to it’s regalia in the spring once again!!

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