Growing Anemones And Irises For Cutting

Growing Anemones And Irises For Cutting

Anemone coronaria grows in a row in my garden, along the edge of a path with a row of calendulas behind them and gladioli behind these, all in less than 3 ft. of width. Anemones are so easy to grow. Of the two types sold for cutting, St. Brigid are the semi-double pastel hues and Du Caen, sometimes called poppy anemones, are in various bright colours and are single. They like a warm situation and a rich leaf-mould soil. It is as well to feed the soil or border in preparation for them. These flowers do not like a peaty, acid soil, so if there is a tendency in this direction it should be corrected by adding lime. Although many sizes of corms are offered I find that one gets extremely good results from small corms, 2-3 or 2-4 cm.

It is unwise to pick anemones which are too tight in bud in cold weather, if they are not covered by cloches. They seem to get frosted within themselves and consequently never expand properly. It is much better to cover them so that they can mature naturally. Pick them in bud, but only when the petals’ colours are well defined. Many more flowers than most people realise can be cut in bud. Almost all those which grow from bulbs will continue to open in water. Irises are best cut in bud, particularly if they are to be transported; they do not get damaged this way.

Bulbous irises are just the things to grow in a row. If you care to leave the row they will come up year after year. These are Spanish irises, derived from I. xiphium, and their range grows every year. There are some lovely colours among them. If you plant them at fortnightly intervals you can have a succession of flowers to cut. The same applies to gladioli. Many short rows for both these flowers planted at intervals serve you better than one long one with everything in it planted at the same time.

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