Friend or anemone?

About a decade ago, I went through an anemone phase. Not sea anemones, and not the tiny spring bulbs also called windflowers, but a Japanese anemone phase. For several years, every year, I ordered anemone plants from a very reputable plant supplier. Not a one of them ever came up. Wait, in retrospect, I believe I may have had a small tuft of leaves one year. But they were a grand failure, and I marked them off my list of desirable plants. I’m not the kind of masochistic gardener who keeps trying to grow things that don’t come up for me. Summer’s too short for that. So it was adios, anemone, and I never looked back.

Yesterday, I looked back. I went to an event at Prospect House at Princeton University, and while I was there, I toured the garden behind the house. It was a pretty spectacular garden, especially for mid-October. Most gardens you see in autumn are like mine by now–rangy and overgrown, with only a few stray blossoms lingering here and there. The Prospect House garden has clearly been painstakingly planned to look good for a long, long season. There were big lush stands of coleus glowing in shades of red and green and gold. Veronica was still blooming, as were the roses. The elephant ears were enormous! But best of all were the anemones. They came in two colors, pristine white like the shot above (which is Anemone hupehensis var. japonica) and one that was a deep, clear red. They grew as single flowers atop long, long stems. “I don’t like them,” my daughter said. “They lean.” I preferred to think of them as stretching out, like dancers. I loved them. And I’m very much afraid I’m going to have to try to grow them again. Maybe I am a masochist!

Photo by Noodle snacks licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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1 Comment

  1. Marcia said,

    October 12, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Hey I just planted some bulbs. Of course I’m not expecting much since I bought them at WalMart and I think I planted at least half of them upside down. Unfortunately they looked nothing like the instruction sheet…clearly no pointed end.


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