Welcome to a blooming lovely Monday.
Today’s flower, the Bleeding Heart, is one I love and I have a tiny clump of these in my garden. These graceful beauties thrive in shady spots and the loveliest example of them I’ve ever seen was with them bending toward a small pool. The stillness of the water reflected them with exquisite effect.
These flowers are part of the spring and by high summer their show is over and they become dormant until next year. You can propagate them from the parent plant by digging up the small infant plants that appear in the parent plant’s shadow. Replant these small ones and you will have more beautiful Bleeding Hearts next spring.
The Japanese legend associated with this flower is tragic as the flower’s name might suggest and references each part of the flower. It is said a young man tried to win the love of a young lady. He did this by giving her a range of gifts. The first was a pair of rabbits (the first two petals of the flower represent these), the next, a pair of slippers (which are the next two petals of the flower), and his last gift was a pair of earrings (shown by the last two petals of the flower). Sadly, his generosity proved fruitless and the girl continued to reject his affections. Heart-broken as she had spurned him, he pierced his heart with his sword (the middle part of the flower), which caused the bleeding heart. There is an addition to this first part of the legend that says when the girl realised she had lost him and the devotion he offered, she too, died. The bleeding heart flowers are said to have sprung from her grave in this version of the legend.
Bleeding Hearts were first introduced into the UK from Asia in the 1840’s and have remained a popular spring bloom ever since. They are said to be the symbol of eternal love and are sometimes included in bridal bouquets.
If you don’t have these blooms in your garden I recommend them as a beautiful addition to a spring garden.
Thanks for reading. Daisy Banks
Image shown under CC licence. Attribution Muffet at http://flickr.com/photos/53133240@N00/18512075
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