Western Mountains and High Plains

March, 2009
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Old-Fashioned Bleeding Heart
One of my favorite old-fashioned perennials, that evokes memories of my mother's shade garden, is the bleeding heart. Not the newer varieties with their fringed leaves and tiny flowers, but the old-fashioned Dicentra spectabilis. Planted in a rich, humus-enriched soil that is well drained, this hardy perennial will thrive for many years to come. It combines well with other shade plants including ferns, hostas, chiming bells, and early spring bulbs.

Clever Gardening Technique

CDs to the Rescue
Don't toss those damaged compact discs (CDs), but put them to use to help scare away pesky birds that invade the fruit garden. Drill a small hole near the outer edge of the disc so you can easily thread a piece of fishing line to hang from the branches in fruit trees or on a stake in the berry patch. The wind moves the disc or several discs so they reflect the sunlight and frighten the birds away.

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