Wednesday, 27 April 2011

anemones at last

I decided a while back that one of my planned additions to the garden were white anemones (also called Japanese windflowers).  They're just so graceful and charming in the autumn garden after the heat of the summer has passed.  But I didn't realise just how hard that would be to achieve! 

Garden shops tend to sell plants like this when they're in flower so they're more appealing.  So as I saw the anemones flowering in my neighbours' gardens I starting asking about anemones in my local garden shop.  It took them a few weeks before they got them in ... and they were pink.  I've got nothing against pink flowers in general but to me, pink anemones just don't have the magic of the simple, clean white ones.  So I looked around at other garden shops.  Pink.  I checked back at the local.  Still pink.  Bunnings?  Pink.  I had a chat at my local and found out that they'd called every one of their suppliers, and only one had white anemones and they weren't yet big enough to sell!

So with atypical patience I asked them to put down my name and waited for my anemones to grow in some distant nursery somewhere.  Every weekend for about a month I'd stop by, just to check if they were in yet.  At last, just before Easter I got a message on my phone that started with "now don't fall out of your chair, but..."

At last they'd arrived!  As soon as I could I stopped by and sure enough, there were the little baby anemones.  And also some big, beautiful two-year-olds covered with perfect white flowers.  Now usually I'm patient enough to buy the small plant and wait a year for flowers, but not this time.  I'd waited long enough.  They weren't cheap, but they were mine!

Here's the "before" picture of where they went, in the back western bed. 
http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden11/anemonebefore.JPG
And here's the after - one on each side of the vitex bed (it's hard to see the one farther from the camera).  I took out a few more tufts of the liriope; it's a tough little plant and a good contrast but boring and worth sacrificing for these beauties.  Next year they'll grow even higher, their flower heads dancing in the breeze.
http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden11/anemoneafter.JPG
I'm really starting to be happy with this corner of the garden.  The vitex is growing incredibly quickly and the hydrangeas are powering along slowly but steadily.  The Japanese maple is doing so much better in its new home and the brunnera "jack frost" (just to the side of the nearer anemone) is happy too.  I'm amazed at how big the elephant ear colocasia has grown in that back corner, so it's obvious that the two small ones at the corner of the square bed are going to have to move soon.  And I've let some wild violets take seed behind the vitex to give the dichondra "silver falls" some competition.  The marigolds and ageratum will die down over the winter but they're still going strong for now.

Now I couldn't just let you go with only that distant view of the anemones, could I?  I've been playing with my new smartphone recently and having a ball with a camera program I downloaded that lets you set all kinds of old-fashioned filters on your photos.  So here's a whimsical photo of the anemones to finish on.  I hope it captures for you the beauty that attracted me to these simple, pure, white anemones.
http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden11/anemonearty.jpg


3 comments:

Jamie said...

Well that was definitely worth all the effort and waiting. I just can't figure out why pink anemones could be the popular, easy ones to find and the white ones the rarities. I'm with you on the white ones. Let there be more of them!

Mac_fromAustralia said...

You should be happy with that corner, it's gorgeous! I'm glad your white anemone mission was eventually successful.

Lani at Edible Urban Garden said...

The white ones definitely win the style stakes hands down. Your garden looks just beautiful.