Cheryl St.John: Bleeding Hearts and a Drawing

It’s always a delight to share my garden photos! Spring has come early to the Midwest. Trees and perennials are already flowering. My bleeding heart, which is on the north side of the house beside ferns that have been moved from yard to yard since I got them from my grandfather thirty years ago, is not quite blooming, so I’m sharing last year’s photos.


The Royal Horticultural Society is an old group of plant lovers who sought out new and unusual flora. In the 18th century, rare and unique plants were being shipped to the UK from China and Japan. Robert Fortune was sent  to find and bring back Asian specimens. He is credited with introducing bleeding heart in 1847. The plant name for what is commonly known as bleeding heart is Dicentras

The informal herbal and perennial gardens of the Victorian era were perfect places for bleeding heart. The beauties flourished beneath the branches of elms, alders, maples or other shade trees. The traditional English cottage garden has also been a favorite planting place for the bleeding heart. The plant’s habit of blooming all summer with fall and winter dormancy, make it an important part of both spring and early summer gardens.


Native Americans used the wild bleeding heart medicinally. Wild Dicentras carpeted forest floors in the Pacific Northwest. It was used as a tincture or compress to relieve pain. The wild plants are lower growing and smaller than Dicentras spectabilis, but are identical in foliage type and have the classic heart-shaped flowers.


I hope you enjoy my photos today!


My April book The Wedding Journey is now available for order on amazon and the Kindle release will be available on the first.


Drumroll please…..

I’m giving away ALL THREE SIGNED BOOKS IN THE TRILOGY to one person who leaves a comment today.

Happy Spring!

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66 thoughts on “Cheryl St.John: Bleeding Hearts and a Drawing”

  1. I have one bleeding heart plant in my yard. It must belong to the wild variety as the flowers are only about 1/3 the size of your flowers. I didn’t know that it could be used to relieve pain.

    Beautiful quote! Do you anything about it’s author Cara Joy Adams?

    Congrats on your release of THE WEDDING JOURNEY!

    I’d love to read the Irish Brides trilogy!!

    Thanks for the chance to win this series!

    johns lake at usa dot com

  2. Cheryl,

    I’ve always loved bleeding heart plants. They’ve been in my mother’s yard since I can remember.

    The book trailer is gorgeous, the music, the images…everything! And after reading “Donnelly’s Promise,” I’ve been looking forward to this series.


  3. Thanks for a lovely morning’s entertainment… beautiful photos, quotes & the trailer… My husband asked me yesterday… what are those red plants called — the ones blooming in our yard.. I racked my brain [which didn’t take long] and finally went outside & looked… yup… All my bleeding heart was blooming!!

  4. Pretty pictures of the bleeding hearts. I don’t have any in my flower garden, but will have to change that as they are so graceful and pretty.

    Love your book trailer. I have ordered The Wedding Journey, but would be thrilled to win a signed copy. Looking forward to reading this series. Thanks for the oppotunity to win these books.

  5. Bleeding hearts are such a welcoming sight as you walk along the sidewalk to our son’s Grand Island home. He posts pictures as soon as they bloom.

    The trailer is great! Looking forward to reading these books!!

  6. Cher,
    I’m not a gardener–I’m the only one in my family that didn’t have that talent–both sisters and Mom and Dad all had it. I love flowers and plants, though, and I’ve never seen these bleeding hearts before–they are just gorgeous! It makes me wish more than ever that I had a green thumb when I see things like our posts from this week.
    Cheryl P.

  7. I love bleeding hearts. They bring back fond memories of my mother who planted them in her flower garden. Great book trailer. Sounds like an amazing book. Love the covers to all the books.

  8. Cher, thank you for sharing your beautiful garden! I envy people whose flowers bloom when they’re supposed to. My spring flowers come up in December and now that Easter is here my poinsettias are in full bloom!

  9. Enjoyed reading the comments. Those flowers are really pretty. The books sound really good too. I like to read these kinds of series where different authors contribute to them.

  10. Laurie, I’ve credited Cara Joy Adams with the quote, is that what you meant? Maybe it’s harder to see on your pc?

    I’ve never seen the wild variety in person.

  11. Rebecca and Lori, thanks for stopping by! Your names are in the fish bowl!

    Connie, that would be a sight to behold!

    Not everyone gets the green thumb, Cheryl. It’s a hot dirty job, though. Hugs to you this morning.

    Crystal, LIH did a fantastic job with the covers. I think they’re breathtaking. I’ve seen several comments about them being the best covers yet. I love how they did the ship in three stages.

  12. Thanks, anon!

    That’s really odd, Margaret. Perhaps gardening is more of a challenge in a warm climate? Here, the plants have no choice but to hibernate in the frozen ground under snow.

    Me too Joye! It’s called a continuity series in the biz. xoxo

  13. I love bleeding hearts. We had one in the shady part of our garden when I was little, and it always fascinated me! I can’t believe I don’t have one in my own garden!

    All three books sound great, Cheryl! Put me in the fish bowl, too! 🙂


  14. Hi Cheryl,
    I am excited that Spring has arrived! I love the photos of the bleeding hearts from your garden last year, they are so pretty.
    I also love the covers of the books, they are really beautiful and the trailer is wonderful. I also enjoy reading books from a series and look forward to reading these, maybe on a beautiful day on the patio with the sun shining. Thank you for a great giveaway!!!

  15. This was a brilliant post and I loved reading it thank you so much for sharing it ! And wow what a contest thank you so much for the chance to win !Your unbelievable !!!


  16. Cheryl, I love flowers! I had bleeding hearts a long time ago. We moved to a few years ago to a house with a little yard, so I’m not doing as much yard work as I used to because of time constraints, but I long for a beautiful garden that I can enjoy to sit and reflect or write.

  17. Love you and your garden. Proud to say I’ve been following your books since Rain Shadow. I haven’t read your new books. I can proudly say I own a collection of most of your signed books. My favorite books other than yours are early English including Tudor and War of the Roses.

  18. Hi, Cheryl. I enjoyed watching your book video for The Wedding Journey. The music in the background was just right.

    I love the lacy flowers of bleeding heart. You just have to remember where you planted it in the garden and plant something else to fill in when it goes away.

  19. Beautiful Cheryl! I don’t have any bleeding hearts in my yard, but my first iris bloomed today- a dark purple one. I love spring flowers.

    Love your video trailer. That’s awesome and it doesn’t hurt that Maeve is a redhead (like me)! Sounds great!

  20. Your pics are beautiful. I haven’t been able to get out and work in my yard this year due to back problems. Beginning to think its not getting any better. I have so much that needs to be done it the yard. I need to put some new bushes in front of the house and plant some flowers. The doctors say not to do these things right now and it sucks.

  21. I love bleeding hearts. They are such beautiful little things, almost magical.
    My mom had a bleeding heart plant that bloomed faithfully ever year. I’ve planted one a few times but they never survive….my own neglect I’m sure. I like looking at them but I’m not so great at CARING for them.
    It makes me want to go plant one. Try, try again.

  22. Yes I did enjoy your photographs. So pretty.

    I am curious about what happens to the sisters after reading the story at

  23. I want to embark on those journeys with your heroines. They sound so exciting.

    I did enjoy your pictures. Just yesterday I was browsing through my old Spring/Summer pictures and enjoyed the veggetable gardens. We have some flowers but our pride is with the vegetables. There are herbs, tomatoes, fruit trees 🙂 Happy Friday!

  24. Oh that is my favorite plant/flower!!! My grandmother always had it in her yard… when I think of this plant I always think of my grandmother… have not seen one in years… the pic has actually brought tears to my eyes… thinking of my grandmother and missing her… all of the wonderful memories!

  25. Cher, your bleeding hearts are beautiful. They must not grow well in Texas because I’ve never seen any. Probably too hot. Your pictures are stunning. I can almost reach out and touch them.

    Loved your video! Wow! That man is so handsome and the one portraying Maeve is just gorgeous. Can’t wait to read this book.

  26. I can remember in childhood our neighbors had some of those plants – they always fascinated me. I had no idea they had mediciinal properties. Beautiful pictures and a great trailer!

  27. I’ve got them in my garden, too and I had no clue so far where they’re coming from. Very enlightening post today! 🙂 In German they’re called something like teary heart and not bleeding but both are sad, I guess.
    I’d love to read this series!
    Thank you for the giveaway!

  28. Gorgeous photos, Cheryl. I love bleeding hearts and loved learning about their medicinal value. Gorgeous video and covers. You’re gonna make one commenter VERY happy! xoxxo

  29. Hey, I recognize that pic with the quote! I keep mine on my desk. 🙂 As always, I love, love your garden pics. I covet your yard! LOL

  30. Sounds like a plan, Sharon!

    You’re in the fish bowl, Alisha.

    Susan, lilacs always remind me of my childhood. We had rows of them beside the house, and the smell was intoxicating. I have two near my kitchen windows so I can smell them on Spring days.

    Desere, thanks for dropping by!

    Hi Maggie! Hugs to you this fine day.

    Carol, I have so many lovely memories of you as we were growing up. You’ll always be dear and close to my heart.

  31. Prayers for your back, Quilt Lady, dear. I know exactly how you feel. I spent a couple of years out of commission before and after a knee replacement. I still can’t get down on my knees, but I manage to dig and plant by doing a lot of bending.

  32. Give it a shot, Mary! I never do anything special to mine. It loves neglect.

    Thanks for following Donnelly’s Promise at the Harlequin site, Ann!

    Love those veggies, Na!

    So delighted I could bring you good memories, Colleen. xoxo

  33. Thank you, Linda! The person who makes my trailers does an awesome job. (paperbackflyers)

    Hi catslady and Claudia! The German translation is interesting.

    Thank you for vising Wendy and Tanya. Smooches!

  34. Oh, Julie! I’m honored you love your photo and it’s on your desk.

    (FYI, I made gifts one year by adding quotes to my photos and adding quotes for my friends.)

  35. I love Bleeding hearts. I have one like yours-it is blooming- and a smaller one called Fernleaf Bleeding heart.

  36. Wish I had your green thumb. Can’t wait for the triology to be available on Kindle. Thank you for lovely post.

  37. I’m so jealous – where I am the cold temps stay around until the end of May so our growing season is delayed and so short. Your pictures are beautiful – I should print them out and tape them over my windows so I can see something besides drab brown.

  38. No need to put me in the drawing. I have your book and Renee’s. Will get Winnie’s as soon as its available. Such a wonderful series!

    Bless your heart. Such a wonderful green thumb and you had your story primarily set aboard ship! 😉

    Peace, Julie

  39. Cheryl,

    I love the cover of all your books. Oh how I would love to win these…I lost them in my move….I love your flowers…They are just beautiful….


  40. Hi Cheryl, It has been such a long time since we have visited. Hope life is going great for you. I am glad to see you are having so much success with your writing. I remember when you were first starting out.

  41. I love Bleeding Hearts plant. My kids have a huge one at their school. It is beautiful. My daughter loves them. I would love one for my yard.
    Would love to win and read these books, so please choose me for the giveaway.

  42. Oh My! Your Bleeding Hearts are beautiful!!!! I don’t have anything like that in my yard..just manicured St. Augustine Grass and a few tree’s. Hopefully one day I’ll have a beautiful flowerbed and can add these in. They are GORGEOUS!

    Thank you so much for an awesome giveaway. I’d LOVE to win a copy of these three.

    I hope life is treating you well, in the meantime.

    mzshawnaj at gmail dot com

  43. That is a pretty flowery bush, I have not had one of those. I would love to have a chance to win your books, love the stories.
    we have quite a few blooms in Ga now and lots of pollen…
    Paula O(

  44. Those pictures are awesome, Cheryl! I’ve heard of those flowers many times but have never seen one in person! I would love to someday! I have been looking forward to this series of books. They look very interesting. I would love to win the set! I read a lot of LIH books. They are among my favorite books! Put me in the mix 🙂 Valri

  45. Cheryl you always have such lovely pictures I love them all and since I really didn’t get to plant any flowers last year or even really get out to much last year to enjoy them since accident it is great seeing all yours.

    Someone is really going to be happy to get all of these.

  46. Love the bleeding heart plants. my Mom had one when I was younger.

    I can’t wait to be able to finish this series, it is so good so far.

  47. Loved the pictures. My bleeding hearts got damaged last summer – dogs running through the garden – but are coming back. Everything has bloomed so early this year my garden is way ahead of me. I was just starting to do my Spring weeding and clean-up when everything popped. My gardens are too big to catch up with when they get ahead of me. I will be playing catch-up all summer by the looks of things.
    I planted Lilies of the Valley in the bed with my Bleeding Heart. They didn’t do anything for years, but now are taking over. I will have to do some rearranging. Perennials are great if they stay where you want them.

    Enjoy your garden and thanks for the history of the Bleeding Heart. I never knew the native american connection.

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