Hi there,

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in the Netherlands. The birds are chirping and lots of youngsters can be heard outside, like little house sparrows and starlings. I love these typical Spring sounds and this time of the year where nature is unfolding so rapidly with fresh greenery and all kinds of new life. (As if nothing is the matter!) But before we know it the bugs are unfolding too, and start to eat the pretty leaves etc. Ah well, it’s all part of the ‘deal’. I’m happy to be alive and grateful to be able to witness it all. In these hard and difficult times my garden is a great refuge! My safe haven! I will not talk about the upcoming storm anymore on my blog. I’ve hopefully warned you enough to wake you up! It IS COMING and VERY CLOSE! Until it’s there I have to focus on my creativity and heal myself. So i’m back in my ‘fairy beautiful world’.

The other day I got a very nice surprise. A true miracle, one can say. For almost 7 years I have this little group of Bergenia plants in the garden in the hope they would give pretty flowers. But year in year out they never blossomed! Until this year! Two of the plants start to give flowers! I was as happy as a little child when I noticed them. It made my month, haha!

So……. Today i’d like to do another plant portrait, which is about the beautiful Bergenia Cordifolia or ‘Heartleaf Bergenia‘ (‘Schoenlappersplant’ in Dutch). Bergenia is a very study perennial with everygreen leaves. The heart-shaped leaves are about the size of a big hand, but can be a bit bigger too, depending on the soil it’s growing on. It’s very hardy and doesn’t need special maintenance at all. It’s very reliable too! It’s a great plant to combine with flowers as a ground covering for instance! It’s a great plant for partly shaded or sunny spots. I have it on all kinds of spots in my garden, even in full shade and it’s doing great everywhere! The flowers are looking as if there’s wax on them, glossy so to speak, and the leaves are a bit like leather. Very pretty to use in a flower arrangement as well!

I have a DFA-1 (international) flower arranging degree and learned that these leaves are used in all kinds of arrangements. So that’s one of the main reasons I always wanted it in my garden. I now and then pick some leaves and tuck the leaves in a little arrangement with Roses or Dahlia’s. Very pretty! You can also make pretty rolls of these leaves for in an arrangement by using wire alongside the stamen of the leaf. You then make a sort of running stitch with the wire alongside the stamen and twist the wire at the bottom of the stamen around the stamen and then start rolling the leaf from top to bottom. Bergenia is flowering in April and May but sometimes new flowers appear later in the year as well, in my case! You can grow it in containers too. The height of this plant is around 15 to 30 cm or 6 to 12 inches. I took pictures of some of the Bergenia plants in my garden. The ones alongside the birdbath are the ones that started flowering after 7 years of waiting! I also am showing some pictures on how the colour of the flowers are changing from a deep mauve color to a pale pink when it’s almost done flowering. You can grow them in almost every zone and when you want more of them you can sow seed or divide them. I’d never would want to miss them anymore!

Click on a photo to enlarge!

In this flower arrangement I created you can see the Bergenia leaves been used at the right part.

Flower arrangement by Ingeborg van Zuiden with white roses, Anthurrium, Spirea, Astilbe and Bergenia leaves

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