Too much of a good thing

Honesty through the back borderI loved money plant (a.k.a honesty, a.k.a Lunaria annua) as a kid because it brought out the big spender in thrifty little me. But because it always planted itself (with my help?) underneath the foundation shrubberies, I grew up thinking of it as a weed. So ingrained was that prejudice that I came perilously close to eradicating it from Squeezins. I’m glad I realized, before the last of them flowered, that I still actually love this generous plant. The last flowers went to seed in the fall of 2012. The seeds germinated last spring and finally, because I was careful not to weed those seedlings out last summer (it’s a biennial), I have an abundance of flowers again. An over-abundance as it turns out. Too much of a good thing.

This weekend I culled the herd, editing out a good couple-dozen plants that blocked my view of other beauties. I left more than enough to go to seed (and will probably do another round or two of edits as the summer unfolds), and made a big fragrant Mother’s Day bouquet from the extras to boot.

pile of honesty editsHonesty bouquet

I might have been doomed to an every-other-year display if a friend hadn’t given me a fistful of seedheads last fall. Rather than use the stems for a pretty winter arrangement, I laid them down strategically throughout the garden and crossed my fingers that Mother Nature would take the hint. Boy did she. The biennial cycle is complete. As long as I don’t weed too many of the seedlings out over the course of the summer, there will be too much of a good thing all over again next spring.

Do you sometimes have trouble distinguishing between weeds and your favorite extra-generous plants too?

2 thoughts on “Too much of a good thing

  1. My practice too! I also let virginia bluebells & wood poppy seed and move as I see fit. When in doubt about a weed or treasure I let it grow until it declares itself, friend or foe!

    Marianne, You’re a gardener after my own heart. And I wish I could get Virginia bluebells to take here… -kris

  2. I took like the Lunaria. It coordinates itself with the Redbuds, making it look like I planned it that way. Self-sowers like the Lunaria and Eschscholzia are good. The only one I have complaints about is the Nigella, which is weedy for me.

    Susan, Nigella is extra generous at Bwold too. Not so much at Squeezins. I’ll have to borrow those extras and keep trying. (I love the court jester seedheads!) -kris

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