IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE making a garden without the benefit of golden foliage, with its power to draw the eye even to shady corners. The stunning golden-leaved bleeding heart, Dicentra spectabilis ‘Gold Heart,’ is one such creature. (That’s it in bloom with Kerria, above.) I was given a plant by a friend in the late 1990s (thank you, Dan Hinkley), among the earliest ones to make their way into our gardens courtesy of Hadspen House Nursery in Somerset, England, the genius of Nori and Sandra Pope that is no longer. (There’s another story to tell there, about the garden at Hadspen, but not right now.)
The recent online ‘Great Plants Picks’ from the Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle does a good job of profiling ‘Gold Heart,’ and suggests some daring combinations, but basically here’s the bottom line: Don’t garden without this one.
A note for taxonomic sticklers: Dicentra became Lamprocapnos recently, but I am pretending otherwise.