Best of the bunch
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.