Until this week I had never really seen an ugly anemone. Whether they flower in spring, summer or autumn, whether they are herbaceous or tuberous, brightly coloured or pure white they are lovely flowers. As it is autumn I will concentrate on the currently blooming Japanese anemones. They are tall and tough, easy and adaptable and at their best when all around them is falling apart. The colour range is limited, all white and rather mauve pinks, enlivened with a ring of golden yellow stamens and a bright green button centre. Because these are Ranunculaceae and so there is that weird petal/sepal thing, in some the outer ‘petals’ are different in shape (udually smaller) than the rest which can give a rather lopsided look. They vary in height from about 60-120cm and although there have been shorter types around for a long time, I tend to prefer the taller ones. Actually, I much prefer the taller kinds because they are elegant and can even be used as cut flowers – though they will drop petals.
There are other white varieties but all I need is ‘Honorine Jobert’. It is tall, pure white and just lovely.
You can see it here growing in an unseasonably dry bed with Japanese maples. A real plant in a real position in a real garden.
I have whinged about dwarfed plants before. They are increasingly common because they can be packed on trolleys in several layers, thus reducing transport costs. I know I am awkward but I don’t want my plants chosen for me because they fit on a trolley any more than I want veg bred to fit into packs rather than to taste nice.
So here we have Fantasy (TM) ‘Belle’. It is a triumph of breeding. It is extraordinary how they can grow them with so many stems in the pot and so many flowers. I was worried that the plant had so many flowers it would not be able to make more basal shoots but I had a look and it looks as though it will spread and establish. So it is vigorous. The breeders say that it is vigorous. What a shame. It is absolutely disgusting.
The flowers are packed with narrow petals and have no charm at all. What a shame. It is Anne Widdecombe on Strictly – vaguely interesting but mad as a box of frogs.