• Katy Gardener

The dainty Japanese Anemone

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

We have been living in our rented house in Winchester for 11 months. During that time it has been lots of fun discovering our borrowed garden throughout the seasons. Back in July we noticed what we thought was a thriving weed with grey buds. We were tempted to rip it up, as the buds looked quite ugly but luckily we let it be, as by August our suspected weed had blossomed into such a pretty flowering plant: a Japanese Anemone. As is often the way with new discoveries, once you become aware of something, you notice it everywhere, and Japanese Anemones are thriving in front gardens across Winchester.

The name of these pretty flowers is misleading, as they are native to Eastern China rather than Japan but have been hugely popular in Japanese gardens for centuries, and are now thriving in the UK.

The pink ladies in our rented garden

Japanese Anemones come in two colour varieties, violet pink or sparkling white. In both cases the flowers have five delicate petals with bright yellow sternums set around a neat yellow bud. They have wiry upright stems that grow up to shoulder height, and have dark leaves that complement the elegant flowers nicely. In our garden we have the pink variety, but I think my preference is the white which adds some serious zing to the fading summer colours at this time of the year.

Some white Japanes anemones in the cathedral square

Growing Tips

  • If planting for the first time buy larger established specimens and plant in rich fertile soil.

  • Plant in partial shade.

  • Choose the destination wisely as these flowers don’t like to be disturbed.

  • When planting, apply a generous amount of compost or manure around the base of the plant.

  • Cut back the stalks when the flowers start to fade in the Autumn.

  • Tidy up old dead leaves in the Spring to make way for new growth.

Ideal Destination

  • A flower bed in need of colour in August and September

  • Works well with Hydrangeas in a simple planting scheme

  • They look lovely in a vase, but only last a few days

Looking dainty next to some sweet peas

What's been going on this week

We went to a friend’s 30th birthday in beautiful Richmond. It was so fun being out in London and a novelty to be partying with our little boy! He was super sweet during the day enjoying all the extra attention and then went straight to sleep in his pram. It was such a win and meant we could party pretty late.

My mum also came down for a few days and we went to visit the wholesale flower market to get ideas for a summer wreath making workshop that I’m running next week. It was a bit of a shock to discover that there aren’t all that many flowers in bloom in mid-August, so my summer wreath may well end up being an Autumn wreath. Good to know for next time that there aren’t all that many flowers in bloom at this time of the year (that is apart from the dainty Japanese Anemones)!

My autumnal wreaths!

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