Sunday, June 24, 2007
Look close and you'll see why this pretty plant has such a not-so-pretty name.
Notice how the dainty, heart-shaped flowers dangle from her stems? They sway back and forth in a gentle breeze.
Bleeding Hearts are one of my favorite shady ladies. This one stands a proud 4 feet tall in a garden spot that stays damp and protects her from the sun.
As the temperatures climb toward the triple digits, flowering stems drape themselves onto this ceramic fountain - perhaps to keep cool.
In spite of her delicate appearance, Bleeding Hearts are tough cookies, thriving as far north as Alaska and as far south as Florida.
About the only thing they don't like is dry soil. A soaker hose works well. Rock mulch keeps soil cool and damp. Water fountains are a terrific way to help perennials cope with desert heat.
* In the mountains, D. spectabilis (Japanese Bleeding Heart) blooms in June, hardy to USDA Zone 3, goes dormant in the heat of summer.