Prepared by Samantha Willis garden designer near Chipping Norton.
The first signs of summer are here, birds are singing their hearts out and I’m looking at my vase of Honesty ‘Lunnaria annua’ picked on a walk this week. The result of a seed that escaped the confines of a garden. ‘Lunnaria annua’ is a lovely plant that should be considered for a cottage garden design . It has a lovely purple flower with white in the center and deep purple veins glowing to the outer petal. Unfortunately it has no smell but this doesn’t deter the insect’s interest.
I have the Lunnaria ‘Alba Variegata’ which has a white flower and variegated leaves, it’s something I inherited in my garden and I’m always delighted when it starts glowing in it slightly shady spot, enticing me out into the garden.
If you want something a little more dramatic there is Lunnaria ‘Chedglow’ which has a dark purple flower and a dark purple leaf.
These plants are bi-annuals, so after 2 years they will die once they’ve flowered. So you can either collect and propagate their seeds and plant them where you want them or let them self seed around your garden. This year I have some appearing along my path. The beautiful round paper thin silvery seed heads follow and add extra interest to the garden in the winter.
Perennials in your Garden Design
If you’d rather have something a little more permanent for your garden design there is the lovely perennial Lunnaria rediviva. This flowers from May right through to July and does have a lovely scent. As a perennial this will die back each winter but reappear where you planted it. You can purchase these on line either as seeds or plants through various specialist plant nurseries.
If you need help with your garden design in Chipping Norton or around Oxford please don’t hesitate to contact me
The Beth Chatto Gardens Ltd, Elmstead Market, Colchester, Essex CO7 7DB (01206 822007).
Special Plants, Greenways Lane, Cold Ashton, Chippenham, Wiltshire UK
SN14 8LA (01225) 891686