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Lunaria annua

You may know honesty by another name; it has a few: money plant, silver dollar, or dollar plant. An easy-to-grow biennial, honesty blooms the second season after planting. Plants self-seed with gusto and come back year after year. Honesty’s purple flower clusters debut in spring, adding color after the spring bulbs have faded.

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1 to 3 feet


1 to 2 feet

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garden plans for Honesty

Planting Honesty

Honesty is grown both for its spring flowers and its round seedpods that are cut, dried, and used in arrangements. Combine honesty with other flowers that produce attractive dried blossoms for a cutting garden with an everlasting impact. Great annuals for drying include globe amaranth, love-lies-bleeding, cockscomb, strawflower, annual statice, bells-of-Ireland, love-in-a-mist, starflower, Chinese lanterns, and mealycup sage. Perennials that preserve well include blazing star, globe thistle, yarrow, and German statice.

How to Grow Honesty

Honesty is easy to grow in moist, organically rich soil and full sun or part shade. Sow seeds outdoors in spring as soon as the ground can be worked, then cover them lightly with soil. Honesty will produce green, leafy growth the first year then flowers and seeds the second year. It takes about 18 months to go from planting honesty seeds to cutting and drying a new crop of silver dollar-size seedpods.

These aren't any old plain brown seedspod, by the way. Honesty seedpods are shimmery, translucent, long-lasting additions to dried flower arrangements. To dry the seedpods, cut the stems close to the ground after they turn green, being careful not to knock off the seedpods. Tie 10 to 15 stems together and hang them upside down to dry in a dark, airy place for two to three weeks or until stems and seedpods turn golden brown. Gently rub off the brown husks from the sides of seedpods.

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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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