Japanese anemones

by Adam Pasco

...it's so uplifting to see others, such as Japanese anemones, ending the year with all guns blazing.

Pink flowers of Anemone huphensis 'Splendens'While many perennials in my garden borders have packed up shop for the year and are dying down, it's so uplifting to see others, such as Japanese anemones, ending the year with all guns blazing.

I've always had a soft spot for Japanese anemones. Our family home in Surrey had a massive, spreading clump of them outside the front door, where they flowered through late-summer and into autumn. They flourished despite the challenges of the site, with its very heavy but dry clay soil along the wall of the house. The wall faced north, so they didn't receive any direct sun at all.

Survivors are valuable garden plants, and always worth recommending to others, so when I come across sites with similar challenges, then Anemone japonica (which we now need to call Anemone x hybrida) always springs to mind. There are several related varieties, too, including Anemone hupehensis, all originating from the Far East from Japan to China. They shade, cope with dry sites, but doesn't seem to mind a heavy clay soil either. Best of all they spread.

If you can beg a clump of anemones from a friend, then autumn's a great time for transplanting, making sure there is lots of soil attached. They won't miss a bit from the back of their clump, and within a few years your display will hopefully be as big as theirs!

I think some varieties have rather wishy-washy flowers, like 'September Charm', whose blooms are pale pink; I prefer either a pure white flower, like 'Honorine Jobert', or something providing a deep, rich, colour. 'Pamina' is wonderful, producing mainly double deep pink flowers, adding real impact to autumn displays. Last autumn I planted Anemone hupehensis 'Splendens' (pictured) with a bold crown of golden anthers at the centre of every flower. Gorgeous. And being a hardy perennial, it'll be back year after year, bringing colour and joy to gloomy autumn days.

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Gardeners' World Web User 09/10/2008 at 19:07

I live in South West France and this year we have had a wonderful display of japanese anemones, although now finished, we do seem to be about a month ahead of england with most things, i find they flower in almost any part of the garden, full sun, slight shade and under trees, can thoroughly recommend them to anyone large garden or small.

Gardeners' World Web User 12/10/2008 at 11:45

These plants may be Adams favourites, but when we moved 2 years ago they had completely taken over the main bed in our new garden. We dug over and removed all the plants from the area thinking they had been eradicated. Following this i planted up the border with many perennials, but the anemone keeps on fighting its way through and over powering all my other plants. I constantly pull it out so its getting better and have also tried weed killer but i fear my boarder will always be competing with this pesty plant! Anyone have any ideas of how i can get rid of it??

Gardeners' World Web User 28/11/2008 at 15:18

I have been given alot of mixed Anemones Corm. Please can you tell me where and when to sow them.

Gardeners' World Web User 19/03/2009 at 23:25

I purchased 4 japanese anemones from Gardeners World offers towards the end of last year.I am pleased to say, after the many frosts in central scotland this winter, I saw the first small green shoots appear this week. After reading your comments I look forward to them blooming summer into autumn

Gardeners' World Web User 07/06/2009 at 05:04

if you don't know what kinds they are, you might try planting them in mixed groups, a few in the srping, a few in the summer, and a few in the fall. see what works the best. i have a question for you. where did ou get the corms?

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