A Further Case for Neglect

Posted by mrssmythe on August 23, 2016 in Critters, Garden |

This was how my bleeding heart plant looked this past spring.


And, this is how my bleeding heart looks now.


Yes – it’s has “faded” some, hasn’t it.

Normally, at this point, I cut it back. But, this year, we have a family of sparrows living in the front yard. The babies sit in the sun on the driveway in the cool of the morning, waiting for their parents to bring them food. Later in the day, they venture to the feeder, themselves. They can fly some, but mostly they hop between the bleeding heart and a butterfly bush about ten feet away. Sometimes I catch them rustling amongst the leaves in my flower garden. I spend a lot of time watching them, as I’m often on the front porch reading and they’re easy to spot – their preference for ground travel makes them conspicuous.

Of course, in light of their comings and goings, I can’t trim the bleeding heart this year. Doing so would expose them to the world. And so, all of our visitors must walk by a very spent and limp looking bleeding heart to get to the front door. A plant that drew raves and envious glances months ago now only inspires puzzled expressions. I’m tempted to put out a sign – “baby bird habitat” – or something like that, but, I won’t. I’ll just consider this yet another reason to embrace “benign neglect” in the garden.

From the dining room table, really very pleased the sparrows have chosen to call our front yard home,

Mrs. Smythe


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  • Tea Lady says:

    I used to cut back all my perennials in the fall to “neaten” the garden before winter set in. But now I leave it alone, and the birds feast on the plant seeds all winter long. I’d rather enjoy the winter birds than a tidy garden.

  • Amy says:

    Ha! I’m that way with my sunflowers. And they’re so tall — peeking right over the fence, for all the world to see. When they’re done blooming, I’ve been known to cut off the tops and place them on the ground, before chopping done the stem. But the birds are just so cute perched up above, eating their favorite snack. 🙂

  • Ruggles says:

    My perennial garden is looking extremely neglected, however the rabbits continue to dine at the salad bar. Most things are in a painter’s palette of brown with a few “Gloria Gaynor” flowers. (You know the song – “I Will Survive”) Hopefully the sedum and Montauk daisy will bring one last burst of color before the leaves take over the show.

    • mrssmythe says:

      I’m waiting for my sedum to “come forth” as well. They seem late this year – I had just about given up on them. I’m glad you mentioned them.

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