Harvesting lunaria annua in spring

1frontdoor honestyHonesty. Monnaie de pape (the Pope’s money). Silver dollars. Money plant. Everyone seems to grow it and I am no exception.

This is another of my favourite weeds.  I let it self seed like mad all over the shade garden and behind the potting shed; and then start ‘harvesting’ it at the end of April.

Today’s harvest resulted in a huge bucket of flowers for Elodie, plus a large vase for me on the hallway table and also in the big pot at the front door.

I tend to cut out just the leader stem in the middle of the plant.  That way I get good height for the vases. And it means I can leave the rest of the plant to grow on and produce the main product; the seedpods. 1hallwayhonesty

I love them as they are just turning green – they are great in flower arrangements.  And then you have to endure the tatty moment when the plant dries out and looks ghastly.

A quick upend of the whole plant and I bring them indoors to peel off the outer casing and reveal the gorgeous discs of silver inside.

Well, that’s a qualified indoors. Into the potting shed.  Peeling off thousands of dried seedheads creates the most tremendous mess.

And speaking of mess, my shade garden design is crammed right now. I have way too many honesty seedlings, and way too many fantastic narcissus bridal crown.

1honestyshadegardnI have reached the stage where I can barely step between the shrubs at the moment. There are hundreds of blue muscari armenicum going over, dying daffs, and a carpet of next year’s honesty plants. All jumbled together.

I love it.