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Conversation With a Bleeding Heart

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Up again, are you?
Always sooner than I think to look.
Always stronger than I thought you'd be.
What are your plans?
Will you take over again, smother the sunny flowers?
Or will the frost bite you back, turn you to mush?

You're red as blood; cruel, inexorable
Despite your beauty.
You carve your space, elbows out
A slow-motion black eye to any plant coming close.
Three years you've ruled this garden
Spreading farther every April
Coming back, coming back, coming back.

A month from now you'll sprawl as wide as I am tall.
I wonder why I give you room.

I could take a shovel, dig you out
to plant somewhere else
or throw on the heap out back
The mound of plants that didn't work out.
You'd rot down to nourish the ones who come after.

I could, you know.
The poacher's spade would do it.
Weedy dock or bleeding heart: all the same to the narrow blade.
So watch yourself.


NO!! I love bleeding hearts!! There is something so old fashioned and 1940's about it. Hmmm, don't you have a little bleeding heart necklace? I remember coveting some piece of jewelry of yours a while back.

Not being much of a gardener I bought a scrawny bleeding heart at the Flower Mart festival at the National Cathedral about 7-8 years ago. I'm estatic every year when I see it coming up and getting bigger and bigger (mainly, I'm always surprised that I didn't kill it from neglect).

Last year was the first year it came back much smaller for some reason (drought?). I'm watching with bated breath this year.

Your plant is stunning!

One of my Mother's favorite plants - don't touch it!

Don't worry guys. I'm using it more as an allegory. I'm proud and more than a little in awe of my bleeding heart.

Ah from the Genus Clerodendrum...
A favorite of mine. Nice write up.


Your threats are too darned sweet.

Shh, Julie, if it's within earshot, your honest admiration might make it very proud.

Ack no! I love 'em too.

Hmmm, I have this same conversation myself with the bleeding hearts in my garden. Every year I'm amazed to see all those green spiky shoots and as I watch them spread and reach and unfurl I remember how much space the monster will take up. They are awfully pretty as they strive for domination, though. They can't help it that they are better travellers than their garden mates!

And I do love a plant that thrives on neglect! Great conversation, Julie.

Loved this, Julie! Nice work.

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