Best of the bunch

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

Di­cen­tra (bleed­ing heart) These pretty peren­ni­als look so dainty, with their love-heart flow­ers drip­ping off long waft­ing stems above fern-like fo­liage, but they’re ac­tu­ally quite tough and given the right con­di­tion will come back year af­ter year.

Among the best is D. spectabilis, which looks el­e­gant in dap­pled shade in the spring, when its arch­ing stems are hung with deep pink or white flow­ers.

They com­bine well with low-grow­ing plants such as mossy sax­ifrages and helle­bores.

Smaller di­cen­tras such as ‘Snowflakes’, which grow to 40-45cm, make good plant part­ners for astilbes, fox­gloves or tall cam­pan­u­las.

Di­cen­tras can grow in sun or shade in most soils, but pre­fer a shel­tered spot in par­tial shade and a moist soil.

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