ANEMONE – windflower

A large group of graceful perennials, most of which bear shallow cup-shaped flowers. They bloom from early spring to late autumn and many have attractive seed heads and rich, dark green foliage. Anemones are fully- to frost-hardy.

Suitable site and soil. Anemones prefer a well-drained soil rich in humus. A limy soil will produce the best flowers on the tallest stems. Choose a naturalized, woodland setting or plant in mixed shrub and flower borders.

Cultivation and care. Plant out spring-flowering tuberous varieties in late summer or early autumn. Summer-flowering varieties should be planted in spring or early summer.

Propagation. Divide clumps in spring, collect and sow seed in late autumn or take root cuttings from some types.

Recommended varieties. A. x hybrida or Japanese species of anemones bloom in late summer and early autumn. Look out for reddish-pink ‘Queen Charlotte’, semi-double; white ‘Honorine Jobert’. A. blanda blooms in spring, is perfect for a rock garden and is available in pink, blue and purple. A. coronaria ‘St Brigid’ comes in bright reds and blues, has parsley-like foliage and fresh tubers should be planted each year. A. nemorosa or wood anemone, is a woodland plant that naturalizes freely and is perfect in a partially-shaded location. A. sylvestris has carpeting, invasive fragrant white flowers in spring and early summer.

Pests and diseases. Seedlings are prone to attack by flea beetles. Aphids may infest stems and leaves.

PLANTING ANEMONES

Plant all anemone tubers 5cm – 2in deep and 10-15cm – 4-6in apart in humus-rich, well-drained soil.

A. coronaria likes a sunny site while A. blanda and A. nemorosa prefer partial shade and look : good in a natural : ‘woodland’ setting.

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