Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Anemones (17 SEP 2013)

I have the impression that people abroad think all Brits can recite Shakespearean plays. I’m afraid to say that this isn’t true. Have you ever tried to read “The Taming of the Shrew” ?

At least I can relate to :
Katherine : If I be waspish, best beware my sting”

It’s very complex, consisting of a plot within a plot and people disguising themselves as other people for no apparent reason. From what I can gather after reading the students’ notes, the morals of the story are : (1) a beautiful wife is not necessarily obedient, (2) a stroppy wife can be worn down eventually by an overly-attentive husband and (3) a good father makes sure that his older daughter is married off before the younger one.

This is my simplified interpretation of the same title …

A couple of years ago, I decided that I couldn’t tolerate the anemones creeping into the patio. The sights of them proliferating in neglected gardens made them seem rather common and the foliage appeared coarse, though admittedly it’s mostly the pink variety that I’ve seen growing wild.

I removed the patio stones and eradicated as much of the invasive rootstock as possible, just leaving a tiny bit in case I changed my mind. The empty space was filled with foxgloves and wallflowers and all was good.

This year the anemones are back, though restrained compared to before, and I’m so grateful. I see them in a different light this time around : the buds pointing out at all angles, the dense, milky white sepals which last for weeks, the spheres of inflorescence at the centre which turn into delicate cotton wool balls speckled with seeds.

Now that I’ve learnt how to tame them, I can’t imagine my garden without anemones - the way they brighten up a dark corner and bob about in the wind.

While I was researching this member of the ranunculus family, I found others which don’t seem to have much in common except that they too have coloured, sepals rather than petals, they produce an acrid substance called ranunculin and they thrive in my woodland garden :

Anemones hupehensis (photographed in this post)
Anemones blanda
Creeping Buttercups
Beautiful delphiniums are also in the same family, but so far they have eluded me. I’ve never seen a delphinium seed germinate obediently and so my vision of the woodland garden filled with their blues and purples is yet to be realised. Discovering that they could potentially be as spirited as their relatives has spurred me on to try harder, even if it means trying to germinate them indoors over winter. Who knows? .. by next year I could be pulling those out too even though I love them.

Today I'm linking up to Dozen for Diana :

©Copyright 2013 b-a-g. All rights reserved. Content created by b-a-g for http://experiments-with-plants.blogspot.com/2013/09/anemones-17-sep-2013.html


Mark and Gaz said...

Love the cheerful blooms of anemones, such rewarding plants!

Angie said...

I've 2 pink A. hupensis that don't want too thrive in my garden. I wonder if that's a good or bad thing ;)
Your white ones are lovely. Good luck with your Delphinium dreams :)

Caro said...

Very useful; I didn't know that anemones would grow in a 'woodland' spot. I have a dry shady corner which I'm trying to revive. So far heuchera, foxglove, astilbe, ferns, sweet woodruff and aquilegias have survived; I'd love some anemones at the back against the wall so will give it a go next year. Thanks for tip - these are one of my favourite flowers! Good luck with the delphiniums!

Stacy said...

I had no idea anemones were so stroppy and in need of taming. Or that you were so stern with your garden plants!

HolleyGarden said...

Well, I've never grown anemones, but your post makes me want to! I think it's the idea of something a bit wild that is very appealing somehow. Congrats on "taming" them!

Anonymous said...

Love your subtle white anemones. I have a clump of these, but they are the pink ones, which I call "Japanese anemones".
They are thriving too much and in the wrong place. Our garden is part-shady and annoyingly the anemones reach for the direction of the sun and flop over some steps.
So after years of good intentions, I now hope to move them into the more even shade of the wooded part of my garden.
Thanks for your interesting post and lovely pictures...

Anonymous said...

A.hupensis has a bad reputation, but I think it is under-rated. It looks lovely growing along the edge of your path.
I'm struggling to get it established but this year I was rewarded with a few blooms and was as delighted as if they'd been a rare gem.

Patty said...

I am trying a found anemone this year that has purple leaves. No flowers yet so hopefully next year. I have heard that Japanese anemones can be prolific but obviously you have come around to believing it a good thing!

Diana Studer said...

thank you, I've added your anemones to September's http://eefalsebay.blogspot.com/2013/09/mother-nature-and-bietou-in-our-gardens.html
Japanese anemones were flowers my London-born mother loved. We saw them growing beneath the trees at Rustenberg wine estate.

catharine Howard said...

I love your description and yes, Japanese anemones, learn to love them!

HELENE said...

Thanks for your lovely photos of the white anemones, I think they are beautiful! I have one myself that looks exactly like yours, got it from a friend when I helped redevelop his garden. The plant had self-seeded from someone else’s garden so I have no idea which variety it is. Mine is still in a huge pot but will soon be planted in my shady white bed where I think it will do well. I might regret it in a couple of years if it gets very invasive but I hope it won’t, the bed will be so full of other plants anyway so it will have to compete for the space.

Andrea said...

I am sorry i cannot fully relate to the relationship of the titles, maybe because i am not English and we hated it when we were forced to read Shakespeare in High School. I only recognize the titles, e.g. Hamlet and can relate to hamletting, but Taming of the Shrew...sorry i can't. hahaha!

I can't also relate to anemones because we don't have those and i haven't seen them in person, but i can fully understand and relate to beauty and i fully love it. Re: caudex in my post, i am glad i was able to introduce something for you. Thanks for visiting again.

Anonymous said...

I love Japanese anemones and wish they would seed more in my garden. Have you tried the new compact forms in the Pretty Lady series developed by Blooms of Bressingham? They look great in a pot but I haven't grown them.

Anonymous said...

I too like Anemones and don't mind a little rambling in the garden. Mine have returned each year with more friends.

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

I can't imagine a fall garden in the shade without anemones. They do brighten up the garden...I had no idea they were related to so many other flowers I love. I also love how they start as a bobbing ball before they unfurl.

debsgarden said...

Your anemones are gorgeous! Neither anemones nor delphiniums have grown for me, though I have tried more than once. And that makes me waspish!

Anonymous said...

Why do everyone else's anenomes grow like WEEDS , while mine fade away like Victorian maidens ! To me they are very precious as they are a rare sight in my garden !!

Glad you have come to appreciate their inner beauty !!

linniew said...

Whew so glad you came around on anemones--I think they are very special. I love all the colors but especially the white and blue (blanda), pretty and dependable. I also love Shakespeare although I can only recite a little--I've found that floating dagger part from Macbeth is hard to work into a conversation.

Unknown said...

hi, Very nice blog:)
I am a new gardner and a new blogger myself, check out me blog.


Any suggestions and feedback will be appreciative.

Alistair said...

Hi b-a-g
I once told you that we can end up liking plants which we once disliked. I have to say I have never read Shakespeare and probably it would go over the top of my head. Now I have a little understanding of Taming of the shrew

b-a-g said...

Thanks all for your comments.

Caro - It seems that Squirrel Basket agrees. Taming them by planting them in the shade sounds a bit less brutal than digging them up.

On the other hand HoeHoeGrow, maybe you should try growing them in the sunshine.

Linnie - you might have more success with Shakespeare's sonnet no. 18 : " Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate"

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...