Friday, 19 April 2013

Eye Candy

Plant of the Week - Anemone nemorosa 'Robinsoniana'.

Eye Candy Credentials - This little anemone, a close relative of our native wood anemone, is beautiful in its' simplicity.  The buds and backs of the petals are dove grey and when the flowers open in the spring sunshine they are a delicate lavender blue.  When you see these in flower you know that, finally, spring has arrived.  This is quite simply lovely and worth nurturing and waiting for.

How to Grow - This is a woodland plant so it needs humus rich soil in light or dappled shade.  If you try to recreate the floor of a deciduous wood before the leaves are fully open you should not go too far wrong.  A good layer of leaf mould applied once the plant has become dormant in the summer is all they really need.  Try to avoid using manure or anything too rich and this will overwhelm them.

Looks Good With - Pulmonaria 'Moonstone', Dicentra spectabilis Alba, Millium effusum 'Aureum'.

Technical Stuff - Wood anemones are rhizomatous perennials that originate from the woods and mountain pastures of Europe.  They will grow about 15 cm high and spread about 30 cm and flower from April to May.  Once they have finished flowering they will become dormant and die down until the following spring.  If you want to grow these from rhizomes they will arrive looking like a small collection of little brown twigs.  Do not plant too deep.  They take a while to establish and don't spread very quickly.  The variety 'Robinsoniana' was named by the Oxford Botanical Garden in 1870 and was mentioned by William Robinson - he of 'The Wild Garden' - in 1887.

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