If your garden looks pooped, it’s time to make it pop. One easy way to do that is to plant one of Grumpy’s favorite perennials for late summer and early fall. Japanese anemone.
Japanese what? Don’t feel bad if you’re not sure how to pronounce the name. Is it “Anna moans?” (You darn kids stop being mean to Anna!) Nope. It’s “A-NEM-oh-nee.” And believe me, anemone is not your enemy. It’s easy to grow and puts on a great show. And right now, garden centers should have plenty.
Why I Love It
Japanese anemone (Anemone x hybrida) grows from fibrous roots that slowly form a spreading clump. From spring through summer, it remains a handsome mound of deep green, 3- to 5-lobed leaves that resemble grape leaves. Then in early fall, graceful, branching stems 2- to 4-feet high rise above the foliage bearing beautiful single or semi-double flowers of pure white, pink, or rose. A border of it in full bloom is prettier than Don Knotts in a wedding dress. Honest.
And the flower is just so cool! Start with a green eye in the center. Then ring it with golden stamens. Finally, add a backing of large petal-like sepals that remind you of dogwood blooms. The flowering lasts for several weeks — smack-dab in the down time between the peaks of summer blooms and autumn foliage, when your garden needs it most.
White or Pink?
Maybe it’s because Grumpy is so pure of heart, but his favorite Japanese anemone has always been lily-white ‘Honorine Jobert.’ I can just imagine taking the white-gloved hand of the pristine Ms. Jobert, as I escort her and her parasol through the royal flower gardens of the French court, before sitting down in all our magnificence and quaffing a chilled glass of Michelob Ultra. Could any experience be so divine?
You, however inexplicably, may prefer another flower color. May I suggest ‘September Charm?’ Its blossoms are pink — the perfect accompaniment for a glass of white Zinfandel poured right from the box. It’s Grumpy’s treat! Or go for ‘Queen Charlotte.’ It boasts semi-double pink blooms. How sweet — just like your wine.
How to Grow
Give Japanese anemone full to part sun and moist, well-drained soil containing lots of organic matter. Plant from a pot in spring or fall. Plants in flower may need staking. If you want a full border of anemones, space plants 2 feet apart and let them fill in. Make more plants to keep or give to friends by dividing clumps in fall or early spring.
Can’t find Japanese anemone at your garden center, even when you ask for “Anna Moans?” Scold the management severely. Then order online from Big Dipper Farm.