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Lunaria annua

Honesty, also called money plant, is easy to spot in the garden. It produces fascinating seedpods, about the size of large coins, that have a translucent shimmer to them. It also boasts fragrance and plenty of old-fashioned charm, making it a favorite for cottage gardens. Its sturdy stems, clothed with oval- or heart-shape leaves sometimes rimmed in white, are topped with clusters of white or reddish-purple flowers. The distinctive flat round or elliptic seedpods follow and later reveal a silvery membrane within.

Honesty is not fussy about soil and usually self-seeds to come back year after year.


Part Sun, Sun



1 to 3 feet


1 foot wide

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Romantic, usually bobbing, often blue bellflowers are classic cottage garden plants. Tall types look like something straight out of a fairy tale garden, while ground-hugging types are good in rock gardens, more formal gardens, and many other situations. Most are perennial, but a notable exception is Canterbury bells, a stately biennial (it takes two years to bloom). Flowers come in blue, purple, white, or pink. Shown above: Campanula carpatica
Named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, iris indeed comes in a rainbow of colors and in many heights. All have the classic, impossibly intricate flowers. The flowers are constructed with three upright "standard" petals and three drooping "fall" petals, which are often different colors. The falls may be "bearded" or not. Some cultivars bloom a second time in late summer. Some species prefer alkaline soil while others prefer acidic soil.Shown above: Immortality iris
Look at the delicate little flax plant with its masses of open, silky flowers, often in purest blue, and it's hard to imagine that it can also produce tough linen fibers. Each bloom lasts but a day, but the plant stays in bloom for a while since it produces so many -- not only in blue, but also clear yellow, depending on the variety.Flax must have a light, free-draining soil. Wet feet will kill it. Flax enjoys full sun but will tolerate light shade, especially in the Southern portion of the United States.

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