Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bleeding Hearts

These 'Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart' (Dicentra spectabilis) have quite happily established themselves on the north, Woodland side of the house and represent some of the very first plants we put in that particular area of the garden. (In 1999, hard to believe!) They've since been joined by a lot of other shade lovers, namely ferns of all sorts, Ligularia, Polygonatum (Solomon's Seal), Hellebores, Lungwort and a few others, so this particular area is pretty full, as you can see in the second shot! And if you look way back in the photo, you can see the peonies already up about 3 ft and putting on buds (just in front of the fence to the right ... click for full sized image).

People ask us every year what we do to make these grow so huge, but that's always been entirely up to them! By a happy confluence of circumstances, of light and consistently moist, well drained soil they have almost become garden punks, spreading out a bit further every year, and we often have to dig new plants (from seeds and/or natural spreading) to keep them from taking over entirely. So usually a few people are the lucky recipients of the unwanted offspring each year ... well except for last year when they too were severely zapped by that cold spell. Well, they're back with a vengeance this year and have just flown out of the ground the past couple of weeks, hardly waiting for the leaves to open fully before they started blooming. There is a white one that hasn't been doing as well so far this year, but I'm pretty confident that it will eventually hit its stride soon, and I'll be sure to post it here. But in the interim, just enjoy these first few shots ...

Photos taken by Fernymoss on 6 May, 2008.


Esther Montgomery said...

Initially, I was muddled.

I used to grow 'Love Lies Bleeding'.

Aren't your hearts pretty?

(Much prettier, I think than my old feathery dustery 'blood'!)

I have a question - Solomon's Seal - does it have a problem with slugs?

And (I realise everyone else probably knows the answer to this but - ) your blog name - what is the victory which is being celebrated?

Esther Montgomery

P.S. I think this is the first time I have visited here.

I wish I had come before!


boran2 said...

These are wonderful photos, Fernymoss!

Shady Gardener said...

You provide a lovely place to visit. My bleeding hearts have never been that prolific... but they are so beautiful, aren't they? I have a piece of my original bleeding heart that I planted 29 years ago when we moved to this town! ;-) I'm a little slow on the draw, but I've just purchased the fern-leaf bleeding heart. I don't have a white one, yet... but I may get one. :-)
Thanks for visiting me, again.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Esther! Always nice to have new garden visitors drop by! I hope you do come back more often ... there's plenty more to see over the summer. As for Solomon's Seal, we have never had a problem with slugs on it or many other plants (well maybe the Columbines that get those funny squiggles on the leaves). I've read in a lot of places that if you put a saucer of beer near the affected plants, they'll be attracted by it, fall in and drown. Don't know if it really works, but I've seen people swear by that solution!

As for the blog name, well the main title is because we live on a quiet little corner in an older part of the city and since we started planting it, we kind of consider it our little oasis and aim to beautify it a bit each year. As for me, lol ... As for me, I've been using this name for several years since I started blogging. I'm from Iowa, I hope for an imminent Victory over the current sad state of our US politics, and I'm a Gardener! Well, and it's also a half-serious reference to the war years my parents experienced, in which people did have "Victory Gardens" to help feed their families ... always have thought it was such a good idea ... so, voilà!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey there B2!! Yeah, he's been having fun getting all the shots on the sunny days I'm cooped up in the house working! hopefully this weekend I'll get a sunny day I can do some work outside and get some of my own! I'll pass along the compliment!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Shady! Thanks, and your place is quite inviting too ... I've been trying to make a more regular habit of stopping by, and hope you'll do the same. :-) Btw, have you had any more success getting the evil squirrel video?

I suspect that the clay you mentioned you have around has something to do with the bleeding hearts' less than optimum performance, though they are reputed to be at least tolerant of clay. My sister used to complain regularly that her bleeding hearts didn't do well and just turned crisp in the summer and died. Come to find out, she had them planted in a full sun position on the south side of her house! Since I've given her several starts from ours and mandated that she plant them in shade, she's had much better luck. But then, lack of shade is not a problem for you! lol

olivia said...

Hey there toots!

I can't believe that you have these growing already, nevermind the peonies! ... :) And they look like jewels in that top photo. Beautiful!

Actually just scrolled down the front blog page and it looks like there is a TON of stuff happening in your garden now ... :D

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

They're blooming out of control right now, Olivia, not that I object! You have, you know told me several times recently that you thought the colours are much richer w/the S700. Well, I took a look at my post from last year and was shocked at the difference, though the lighting was less bright in those, there is a dramatic difference w/the S700. It was a wise choice for a step up camera, eh?

olivia said...

Oh yeah ... definitely spot on! The pix this year are just fantastic.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

I never tire of bleeding hearts, they will always be one my favorites.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

IGW, totally agree with you, bleeding hearts, wild tricolor violas and bluebells are still my vivid favorites from childhood. And once established, bleeding hearts are sooo easy! Our original planting has gotten so large that if we tried to divide it, we'd probably have to use an ax or saw! So we just leave it alone and farm out the youngsters that get in the way, lol.

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