(1 Peter 3:8)
Spring means many things to many people: a time of new beginnings as green growth emerges from last year's exhausted splendor; a time to enjoy short or sometimes long walks as the days are warmer and usually not too hot; a time to listen to birds with their many melodies of happiness, some that sing for a mate and some that sing because they just want to; for the flowers that emerge early, a time to bathe in their wholeness that are unhampered by outdoor insects that chew away at the leaves or petals; and for the gardener, a time to accomplish a tremendous amount of cleanup and preparation work while the soil is still moist and most perennials are small.
In April and May, I typically spend more hours in the perennial garden than all other months combined. Our Gethsemane Prayer Garden is a half-acre of flower beds, an acre of lawn, and another half-acre of undeveloped brush land that is yet to be cleared. After the winter debris was removed, nearly forty yards of mulch were applied to eight of the flower beds. I try to do this early, before the new plant growth gets in the way of mulch application – that is, before the bleeding heart open.
I use the old-fashioned bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) as my measure to see if I can get it all done in time – this year I did and I am thankful for the help that was provided. The bleeding heart is a delicate pink and white flower that prefers to grow in the shade. The heart-shaped pendulums remind us of compassion and love.