Garden plant of the moment: Anemone

Garden plant of the moment: Anemone

Late in summer, as other flowers start to fade, Japanese anemones come into their own. With their elegant sculpted flowers on long graceful stems and their bold maple-like leaves, they’re an unmissable presence in the border well into autumn. Happiest in partial shade, they’re ideal for brightening up dull spots in the garden, and once they’re settled they’ll spread and come back year after year. Here’s how to make sure your Japanese anemones grow and flourish.

 

Summer Stunners: Japanese anemone 

Despite their common name, Japanese anemones are actually originally from China and were first brought to Europe by the legendary Scottish plant hunter Robert Fortune in 1844. The two forms you’re most likely to come across are Anemone hupehensis and a hybrid form Anemone x hybrida which starts flowering slightly later. There are a whole host of gorgeous varieties of both forms, with single or double flowers in shades of pink or pristine white.

 

How to grow and care for Japanese anemones

Japanese anemones do best in semi-shade, in rich soil with lots of organic matter dug in to improve its structure. They’re very easy to care for – simply cut the old flower stems back to the base in autumn to keep the plants looking tidy, and remove any tatty-looking old leaves in spring once new leaves start to appear. They don’t like being dug up and transplanted, and also don’t respond well to being divided, so if you want to propagate them the best way is by taking root cuttings in spring.

Ironically, given that Japanese anemones can be difficult to establish and don’t like disruption, once they are settled in, they do have a tendency to spread and can even be rather invasive. To keep them under control, dig out any unwanted shoots as soon as they appear in spring, together with their roots.

 

Top 5 Japanese anemones

There are so many beautiful varieties of Japanese anemone available, it can be hard to choose between them, but these five are a good place to start.

  • Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ AGM – tall and elegant, with pristine white flowers.
  • Anemone hupehensis ‘Hadspen Abundance’ AGM – a very free-flowering variety bearing semi-double rose-pink flowers with deep pink outer petals.
  • Anemonehybrida ‘September Charm’ AGM – compact, with striking purple-pink stems and rose-pink flowers. 
  • Anemone hupehensis var. japonica ‘Pamina’ AGM – another compact variety, with deep pink double flowers.
  • Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ – named Chelsea New Plant of the Year for 2011, it flowers from late spring through to autumn, with gorgeous white flowers, faintly purple-blue on the reverse. It doesn’t spread like other anemones but can be trickier to establish, growing best in rich fertile soil in dappled shade.

For late summer colour with very little effort, it’s hard to beat Japanese anemones. Why not pay a visit to our garden centre and choose the one that’s right for you?

You might also be interested in:

Garden tips: How to get more out of your herbs

Few things are more satisfying in life than being able to pick your own fresh herbs when you need them. We’ve picked five of our favourite herbs and come up with some top tips to get the best out of herbs from the garden

Read more...
Top 10 garden accessories for the summer

As summer approaches it is time to make sure the garden is looking great so you can relax, entertain and enjoy your surroundings. Your garden can be an extension of your home, a place to escape and immerse yourself in nature. Even if you have a balcony or a patio, these garden accessories will help you make the most of your space.

Read more...
Home inspiration from online gardening shows

You can still get home inspiration from online gardening shows, even though you can't attend them in person at the moment throughout the pandemic across the world. There are many virtual gardening celebrations, online shows, stores, and social media packed full of garden and home inspiration to keep you full of information and inspiration. Here are a few ways you can still enjoy sprucing up your home from online gardening shows.

Read more...
How to take softwood cuttings

Taking softwood cuttings is easy to do, and it’s a great way to make new plants at minimal costs. Softwood cuttings are sections cut from the new young growth of plants and grown into new plants. They should be taken from mid-spring to early summer and potted up by mid-summer at the latest, to give the new plants time to develop roots before winter.

Read more...