Western Mountains and High Plains
Favorite or New Plant
Old-Fashioned Bleeding Heart
As a memorial to my Mother, I'm planting a new old-fashioned bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) in my family's garden. This was one of her favorite spring-blooming perennials that grew in the shade of the Colorado blue spruce trees. The bleeding heart is a tough survivor as perennials go, but the flowers are graceful and beautiful. This perennial will last for years if planted in the right location of dappled shade, protected from hot afternoon sun, compost-enriched and well-drained soil, and provided with a good drink on a regular basis. Use an organic mulch around the plant to help retain uniform moisture and provide some winter protection.
You can find bleeding hearts as bare-root plants now, or purchase healthy specimens that are grown in containers.
Clever Gardening Technique
Repel Sparrows and Finches
If house sparrows and finches feast on the blooms of your crocus and species tulips, place colorful foil spinning wheels (sold in the toy department and party supply stores) among the bulb plantings. These distractions can help to keep the birds at bay. It may even help to repel some of the stray cats and squirrels from stomping on your early, spring-flowering bulbs.