A Profusion of Anemones

Last week, a dear friend came to visit, bearing a gift of potted anemones (Anemone coronaria). She included a tag which let me know the flowers will be the blue ones (var. cyanea). I’m sure this lovely surprise was prompted by my open admiration of her own large pot of closely planted anemones, blooming profusely last year on her sunny patio. That same admiration inspired my own planting of blue poppy anemones–just the same way, many corms in a large pot. I didn’t say a word of this to my friend. My motives were mixed. On the positive side, I didn’t want to diminish the generosity and delight of her gift to me. On the negative side, the low part of my nature feared that she would decide to pass those anemones along to a more horticulturally needy person.

Dear friend, if you are reading this, what can I say? I emulate you in so many ways: attempting to recreate the delicious dinner you’ve served us, rushing out to buy the shampoo you’ve recommended, buying the closest version I can find of your Clarks shoes, trying without success to replicate the group of fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris) reappearing every year in greater numbers in your lawn. It is my admiration of you that leads to all these imitations.

[Click on any image to enlarge]

I have grown these anemones in garden beds, producing lovely blooms in red, blue, white and pink, but never tried growing them in a container. There are photographs of these successes, but all too often, the anemones don’t reappear the next year. Perhaps some sort of soil enrichment is called for? I’ve recently seen a photo of Anemone ‘Bordeaux’, with deep red petals and a purple heart. I long to have some of these.

The name “anemone” is derived from Greek anemos (“wind”). The De Caen cultivars are poppy-flowered singles developed in Normandy and grown at Caen. The plants originated in Southern Europe and Mediterranean Asia. They are said to be a glorious sight among the ruins of Ephesus in March.

Anemone Coronaria Painting

“Blue Poppy Anemones”, watercolour, 11′ x 11″