Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Valentine's Flower


One happy acre of gardening opportunities... and 4 square feet of shade. Which is why the teeny tiny bit of cool, quiet shade I do own is full to overflowing with these.

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd divulge... confess to the world what's my most favorite flower in the universe. Now, don't tell my other perennials, but I secretly think the Dicentra: Japanese Bleeding Heart is the most spectacular blossom in the garden. 

(Get up close and personal to appreciate her clever creations.)

Don't ya just love all those dainty, little hearts dangling from her stems? They sway back and forth in a gentle breeze.

In spite of her delicate appearance, Bleeding Hearts are tough cookies ~ thriving as far north as Alaska and as far south as Florida. (They're also available in white but why choose that when you can have this delicious pink?) She stands a proud 4 feet tall in one of the few shady spots in my garden 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.

About the only thing she doesn'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, Dicentra spectabilis (Japanese Bleeding Heart) blooms in June, hardy to USDA Zone 3, goes dormant in the heat of summer.

PS: Happy Valentine's Day!


A Garden of Threads said...

Dancing hearts, is what I call them. They do quite well in my sandy garden, but can dormant if it is a dry spring. Happy Valentine's Day.

ProfessorRoush said...

Not very "manly", but they're a favorite of mine as well. I like the old-fashioned kind, though. The fringe-leaf/everblooming types are off-colored to me and I won't have them.

Melospiza said...

Oh, I love bleeding hearts. At certain points of the year they are my favorite flowers. I have one that I tend to neglect to water sufficiently....I am liking the water fountain idea, however. Veddy clever. I'll have to try that.

Marguerite said...

Nothing says valentines like rows upon rows of tiny pink hearts :)


That dang dry soil... is exactly what my Dicentras have to deal with in summer after the rain shuts off. I can keep the native Dicentras alive though. I agree though, this is a gorgeous, gorgeous flower.