I love Honesty (Lunaria Annua), the plant that is, with its beautifully enchanting and intricate seed pods on display every winter. Flowers are not the only attraction in gardens, and I prefer the biennial in this form, when it goes to seed, much more than when it displays pink, purple or white flowers in the spring and summer.
I am quite fond of this unique display that Honesty provides in the winter, as it not only reminds us that plants are remarkable things with such intricate designs, but also of the yearly garden cycle. Despite bare branches lacking colour and flowerless flowerbeds, these seeds will soon provide growth and colour in the garden once again in the subsequent season. And the cycle repeats once again.
Just a few weeks ago I was walking in Botanique in Brussels (the Botanical Gardens of Brussels), and also in Portugal this summer when walking in a forested area. Both times, I couldn’t fail to notice the sun illuminating on the seed pods of the Honesty plant. The pods are disc-shaped, and almost transparent with a hint of brown. The encased seeds are dark in colour, and become more prominent if seen on a sunny day. By early to mid winter the seed will naturally fall from the pods onto the soil below, sowing itself, and new seedlings will emerge the following year. Alternatively, seed can be saved, traded, or given away. I think our gardens could benefit from a little bit of Honesty at this time of year.