Saturday, January 08, 2011

Fringed Bleeding Hearts

Saturday, January 8, 2011

18° on the mountain with a light wind but lacking the snowflakes that were predicted. That's fine with me. I just started checking inventories and plant orders for next spring and ended the exercise wondering if I had messed up on the Dicentra eximia, the woodland or fringed bleeding hearts that people have come to enjoy so much.

For years I thought the traditional bleeding hearts were the limit. Everyone talked about them and they prevailed at every farm lady's garden I ever visited. But then as I began to expand my tour of gardens and begin woodland and shade gardens, I learned of these fringed leaf perennials which grow so well here in Vermont. The strong point is probably the fact that they bloom throughout the summer and into fall and there is some color variation to choose from. I especially like the deep cut leaves and the blue-grey foliage color that reaches about 16" in height.

Some of our records are on the computer, some written on inventory sheets, some just a matter of memory, Gail's or mine....and sometimes we are memory-less. I fear that is the case with eximia.

Although many descriptions suggest avoiding wet planting areas and caution about allowing them to totally dry out, we have grown them in a garden alongside the road where bright sun shines and the soil dries quickly. Perhaps they do well there because all the plants are thick and water evaporates slowly. But sometimes the soil is baked hard from July heat and yet these flowers keep blooming.

If you have an out of the way place with some sun but not too much water, give them a try. They work well with about any shade plant and accent our hostas and astilbes well. If you haven't tried them before, let me know what you think.

As I think about the inventory, I think we have enough for this season but it will mean dividing some plants this spring. That will work!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where it's quiet and I can get some reading done.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens and also as George Africa
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vtflowerfarm

3 comments:

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

This is one of my favorite native plants. It has the longest bloom of anything I grow. It spreads itself freely - a great groundcover. Even out of bloom, the foliage is beautiful.

eagiffin said...

This is one of the last plants in my garden that goes dormant in the Fall.

Ralph said...

It is meditative to come here. Thanks for the serenity and tribute to Nature and all that it encompasses. I find the way you create your posts to be one of my favorite moments of my day or week.