As gardeners, around here we’re a rather laissez-faire bunch. Though the garden in front of the house is still referred to as the rose garden, there are but two hybrid tea roses and a wild red rose sprung from another’s rootstock. Instead we’ve been
working allowing the garden to go back to a wildflower (They are NOT weeds!) and perennial garden that needs a bit less time and care, but still delights. One of the plants that’s become naturalized there is the Lunaria. Also known as money plant, honesty plant, and silver dollar plant, it’s a biennial, producing only a small two leaved green plant the first year. In the second, it produces a tall shoot of lovely purple blossoms in early spring.
At this time of year, between the early daffodils and pinks, and slightly later iris, it’s our most profuse bloomer. Later, it will bear its flat green seedpods that fade to pale tan, then nearly white by fall. When the seeds are shed, the remaining membrane is silvery, whence arises the silver dollar (and therefore money) name. Not sure where the honesty plant name comes from, but I guess we like people to be honest where money is concerned. No doubt you’ve seen these in dried arrangements. I have none to show in a photograph now, so we have to wait for fall.
This morning we awoke to frost, after setting a record low temperature last night. Late for a frost, but we were ready, with all the tomato plants covered. Beautiful warm sun today, and the iris are indeed beginning their showy season. We always seem to be just a little later than many of our neighbors in the garden – many had iris in bloom a week earlier – even as near as a mile or two away. That’s ok, though, as it seems to prolong our favorite season, spring.
Also beginning to bloom now are the periwinkle, lilacs and wild phlox.