After a long winter in the northeast, folks here are ready for warm weather and the many benefits that the spring season offers. Flowering plants and colorful gardens are guaranteed to bring much joy as we celebrate the arrival of warm weather!

With the dark months behind us, gardeners love to see their autumn efforts come to life with a variety of beautiful plants that make their debut between March and May.

What cheerful spring flowers do you enjoy? Are they the adorable bright pansies? Is it the sunny yellow daffodil? What about the primrose that comes in a rainbow of shades? And who can resist tulips? With over 100 species, they are a staple in most landscapes and are perfectly fitting in vases or potted.

My all time perennial favorite is the old-fashioned Bleeding Heart. A well-loved plant, it became fashionable in Europe around the 1800’s and came to America as a Valentine’s gift. Hearty and easy to grow, it’s seen early in spring as soon as the ground thaws. Yet what sets it apart is the alluring form.  Graceful stems are filled with elegant pink, white or red heart-shaped flowers. The hearts appear to be dripping, thus its name.

Bleeding Heart Plant

My first sighting was at grandpa and grandma’s house. I was sure we had the same plant in our own garden but grandpa’s looked so much prettier. Grandpa loved his job working for the hometown florist and it showed in their beautifully manicured yard. Filled with the most attractive assortment of bushes, the rosy pink color and heart shaped flowers were easy to spot. Showcasing the Bleeding Heart was a bright green Gazing Ball. The ball sat on a tall pedestal and its brilliance intrigued me. It was one of the most spectacular sights I’d ever seen.

Catherine With Gazing Ball

Until I grew older, I had no idea how special and important this plant was. On my grandparents wedding day, they were given a cutting from my great grandparents to plant and grow. The plant was to be loved and cared for, just like their marriage. On April 22nd, 1950, it was a beautiful spring day when mom and dad took their vows. As tradition has it, another portion of the plant was gifted.

Over the years, wherever we lived the Bleeding Heart plant was relocated. Gently transported, it’s endured 15 moves and has not only survived, but thrived. A tradition that’s been shared countless times with family and friends. Today the same Bleeding Heart, well over 150 years old has reached its final resting place.  Displayed in my mother’s home garden is the same plant that grandpa gave my parents 72 years ago on their wedding day! You can hear more about this in the story: “All That I Had.”

Does your family have a treasured tradition? If not, it’s never too late to start something special. It can be as simple as what my ancestors created. The long-lasting memories will be cherished for generations to come!

Dear friends, thank you for taking the time to read May’s blog. Spring IS a time for new beginnings! Be sure to look out for one another and know how special you are to me.


With spring in the air,

Kathy Ann Corse, Author

PS: For years, Kathy has maintained a portion of the family’s Bleeding Heart in her own garden. Displayed next to the plant is a Gazing Ball. Bright green in color, it’s just like Grandpa’s.

Today the same Bleeding Heart is well over 150 years old and has reached its final resting place. A garden staple in our family for generations this beautiful flower has a remarkable story.

Catherine With Bleeding Heart Plant
Catherine and Kathy with Bleeding Heart Plant and Gazing Ball
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