FREE SEEDS: HONESTY/WHAT’S ON
Honesty delivers something for every season
IT is hard to go wrong with honesty (Lunaria annua), an easy-going biennial that is as at home in a border as it is in a hedge.
With flamboyant heads of pink or white flowers in spring and early summer, and penny-shaped seedheads that start off green and dry into attractive golden discs, honesty offers something for every time of year.
Sown now, your free Mr Fothergill’s seeds will flower next year in pink and white. Although the dried seedpods are much in demand for indoor arrangements, if left on the plant they will self-seed close by the parent. The resulting seedlings can either be moved elsewhere or left to develop into attractive stands of colour.
Honesty is a member of the brassica family and will develop deep taproots. If you are sowing in modules don’t leave it too long before planting out the seedlings as they will start to fade if the roots don’t have enough room.
Because our borders are crammed with summer annuals and perennials, I am sowing ours in a bare patch of soil elsewhere and will transplant the seedlings to their final growing position in autumn when there is space available.
After transplanting, leave 10in (25cm) between each plant. They will put on little top growth during winter while the roots develop underground, and will grow again in spring and flower between April and June.
To collect the seedheads for arranging, cut while still green and hang upside down somewhere cool to dry.
The borders are full so I’m sowing my honesty in a spare bed and will move the seedlings when they are large enough Harvest and dry the green seedheads