Monday, May 14, 2012

The Bleeding Heart

No other bloom in the early spring garden is as enchanting as the Bleeding Heart! The one specimen I have right now is an inherited one. The original from my own mother's garden disappeared at some point so I sought out another. Who to call but my Aunt Alice, a garden matriarch! She gladly gifted me another Bleeding Heart along with a few other shade friendly friends. Thank you Aunt Alice!

Falling in love with this plant each spring and then forgetting about it as the showier blossoms grow seems so sad. Now was my chance to capture and hold onto at least one heart. I took one little delicate droplet and brought it inside. First to photograph and then to press into another time and place.

 Such a unique, evocative blossom with a story! But first let me show you how I saved one. 

Pressing flowers has always been fun and a hobby that may surface its face again, hopefully. Apart from the bleeding heart, these are long ago pressed blossoms found in my Encyclopedia of Garden Plants from possibly 20 years ago! The bleeding heart was put under a press only 2 weeks ago. It is certainly a great flower to press...give it a try!

One more look at a branching stem of hearts....and then the "story" taken directly but lovingly from this site.

A Story Within The Bleeding Heart
The flowers also hold clues to a tragic tale of unrequited love.  
To begin narration of the story, hold a heart blossom in the palm of your hand.
Long ago there lived a noble prince who tried in vain to win the heart of a very beautiful princess. The prince had brought the princess wonderful gifts from his travels far and wide. Yet she had taken no notice of him. One day the prince returned from a long journey with very special gifts to surely win the love of the princess. First he presented her with two magical pink bunnies.  
Peel off the two outer petals and set them on their sides to display two little pink bunnies.
The princess only sighed and barely looked at the little bunnies. The hopeful prince had one more gift saved for last - he presented a pair of beautiful enchanted earrings.  
Remove the two long white petals and hold them next to your ears.
Again, the princess hardly noticed the prince's gift. Now the poor prince was utterly heartbroken. He could try no more to win the heart of the princess. He rose up, pulled a dagger from his sheath and stabbed himself in the heart. 
Remaining in the flower is a heart shape with the stamen, appearing as a dark green line down the center. Hold the heart up, carefully remove the dagger-like line, and plunge the dagger through the heart.
The princess was overcome by the dedication of the dying prince and his unending love for her. She realized too late that she loved him also. "Alas," she cried out. "I have done wrong, my own heart is broken also. I shall bleed for my prince forever more!" And her heart bleeds to this very day.
There are many blossoms on a Bleeding Heart in full bloom, so next time you pass such a delightful array, perhaps you'll have permission to pick a heart and discover the mysteries within.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post, Carol. I'm sure my mom will be delighted to think that she was mentioned on the net. :)